Why Do You Teach?

I’m not a teacher, though I hope to be one someday. Well, actually that’s not true. I teach every day, but I’m not yet a schoolteacher. I still get to work with kids and teach them about camp and the environment. Someone (many people…) has asked me why I’m 21 years old and still work as a camp counsellor. Usually I say it’s because being a camp counsellor is the best job in the world – I get paid to have fun! But it’s more than just having fun with kids all day. I get to teach.

One of my absolute favorite things in the world is when a kid just get it. They’ve been working at something for so long – getting a fire to light, how to paddle properly, understanding the soil cycle, or even working on a math problem – and then finally the light bulb clicks on over their head. They’ve finally broken through and figured it out! I have seen kids try to understand the food chain and draw it out, only to get it mixed up time and time again. But when they reach that moment of understanding and they get the concept, it’s incredible. If you’ve ever witnessed the change of look on a student’s face when that happens, you know what I’m talking about. That’s why I teach.

I hope that all teachers – both in the school and in other places – love what they’re doing. Teaching is a profession where you do it because you love it. I’ve never met an educator who got into the job just because it “came along” or “was the easy way”. No, teachers are deliberate. They start teaching because they want kids to learn. I hope that no teacher loses sight of that. If you have lost sight of it, why are you still teaching? Find the reason why you teach, and hold on to it. As an educator, that’s what’s keeping you in the profession.

Emma — The Suburban Aggie

PS, working with teachers the past 6 weeks has opened my eyes to why they teach. I’m going to be working on a post about their reasons for teaching – stay tuned!

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