September 12, 2008

187 Things I Love About Teaching

The title pretty much says it all. Gratitude is one of the best tools we have. When you think about it, this job is pretty great. This list is completely stream of consciousness, so there might be some repetition and/or nonsense in it. Enjoy!

1. Building rapport with students
2. Relating to students
3. Providing a safe, comfortable, and encouraging place for "outcast" students to go
4. Public speaking
5. Being "in the moment"
6. Being constantly alert
7. Having situational awareness
8. Extremely high level of autonomy
9. Making important decisions
10. Being supported 100% by peers and administrators
11. Extremely high level of responsibility
12. Getting off at 3:45 in the afternoon
13. Making a difference in a kid's life
14. Putting a smile on a kid's face
15. Making a kid's day a little bit brighter
16. Being someone a student can turn to
17. Challenging people
18. Forcing people outside of their comfort zones
19. Shedding a light on new topics for people
20. Helping people reason logically
21. Continual learning about my content area and pedagogy
22. Being highly respected in the community
23. Working with friendly coworkers
24. Other people put a great deal of trust in me
25. Organizing activities like Business Professionals of America
26. Controlling the direction of my own career
27. Having a voice in school policies
28. Volunteering at student events like athletics and theatre
29. Watching kids succeed at things they love doing
30. Helping kids with their futures
31. Primarily focusing on others instead of myself
32. Being, not doing
33. Shedding all self-consciousness
34. Being a role model
35. Planning lessons
36. Treating students like adults
37. Treating students with respect and courtesy
38. Summers off
39. Lots of vacation time
40. Having a job that I truly enjoy
41. Being a highly educated professional
42. Being an intellectual
43. Being a scholar
44. Keeping abreast of the latest in the world of education
45. Encouraging diversity
46. Encouraging students to challenge social norms
47. Keeping current in technological knowledge
48. Being the resident computer expert
49. Experiencing flow
50. Making many, many quick decisions
51. Being someone people can look up to
52. Preparing students for college
53. Building a positive rapport in the classroom
54. Meeting students in the hall
55. Seeing students do well in athletics
56. Seeing students do well in theatre
57. Exchanging pleasantries
58. Seeing lots of smiles every day (kids smile a lot)
59. Joking around
60. Watching people throw French Silk pies in each others faces
61. Telling jokes
62. Listening to jokes
63. Writing a curriculum
64. Having control over your own program
65. Deciding what you'd like students to learn
66. Seeing that students have actually learned it
67. Journaling and reflecting on teaching
68. Keeping in touch with old friends and colleagues from college
69. Living in and learning about a new community
70. Anticipating the start of a new day
71. Anticipating the start of a new class
72. Being welcoming
73. Perfect mixture of extraversion and introversion required
74. Working with smart coworkers who value lifetime learning
75. Coworkers who see the value of education
76. Students who take the class because they're interested in it and want to learn, not just for a grade
77. Meeting with parents
78. Talking with parents about how their students are doing in class
79. Writing letters to parents
80. Students who want you to show them more advanced things than what we are learning in class
81. Students who stay after class to discuss the days' topic with you
82. Learning about students' lives outside of school
83. Teaching subjects that I'm highly interested in
84. Researching subjects that I'm highly interested in to prepare for lessons
85. Modifying a lesson after trying it once
86. Learning from my mistakes
87. Thinking about how to improve next time
88. Teaching students real, tangible skills
89. Leaving a mark on the universe that extends beyond my own lifetime
90. Being a change agent in the universe
91. Being more than just a consuming rational maximizer of self interest
92. Improving my public speaking skills
93. Laughing with people
94. Meeting new people
95. Being self-confident because the job requires it
96. Working in solitude
97. Maintaining computer hardware and software
98. Creating a large body of work which can be reused
99. Maintaining a comprehensive class website
100. Being part of a learning community with many varied opportunities, including sports, music, business, leadership, scholarship, civic engagement, etc.
101. Making financial contributions to the community
102. Meeting professional educators from other school systems
103. Teaching college level courses in a high school
104. Being part of professional organizations
105. Being a member of Delta Pi Epsilon
106. Being part of and continuing a strong Business Education tradition in this state
107. Planning professional conferences
108. Drawing on the whiteboard
109. Student participation in lessons
110. Guiding a thoughtful student discussion about an interesting topic
111. Sympathizing with students
112. Developing new lessons and assignments
113. Using all levels of Bloom's Taxonomy
114. My talents are being fully utilized (this job is not boring!)
115. Brainstorming ideas for class
116. Doing things that the students are interested in
117. Remembering what it was like to be a teenager
118. Being glad that I'm no longer a teenager
119. Working closely with the IT support people
120. Taking Continuing Education Credits
121. Being supported by other teachers
122. Constantly growing my knowledge and skills
123. Having non-school related conversations with students
124. Being with energetic people
125. Being with funny people
126. Being with happy people
127. Standing in the front of the room
128. Drawing gremlins on the chalkboard
129. Counting the days of school
130. Fully expressing my geekiness
131. Speaking clearly and intelligently
132. Being in a place where intelligence is rewarded
133. Wishing people a happy Wright Brothers Day
134. Telling people about the Wright Brothers
135. Learning for its own sake
136. Sharing knowledge
137. Fully utilizing my skills and abilities
138. Doing something that I have prepared for my whole life
139. Using prior, not directly related experiences, as a strength (anecdotes from other experiences and areas)
140. Having hope for the future
141. Seeing people as PEOPLE, not just strangers, numbers, or faces in a crowd
142. Getting to know people individually
143. Seeing past the stereotypes
144. Working with people of different races, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, and abilities
145. Working with people with disabilities
146. Accepting all people exactly how they are
147. Respecting all people
148. Being in a place where a tolerant, accepting, respecting, courteous attitude is the norm
149. Providing a structured learning environment
150. Having high expectations and holding students to them
151. Inspecting what you expect
152. Working at home on my laptop
153. Working in public on my laptop
154. Having personal and professional goals for myself and my students
155. Being a permanent and important part of a person's memory
156. Working in a positive and optimistic environment
157. Being the source of optimism
158. Always staying positive
159. Making fun of myself
160. Following up on things I say I will do
161. Working with integrity
162. Expecting integrity of others
163. Being tactful
164. Being diplomatic
165. Socializing with students
166. Seeing student work
167. Seeing how creative some of the students are
168. Working with students who are smarter than I am
169. Working with ambitious students
170. Working with a wide variety of personality styles
171. I enjoy working with students who are similar to me – and -
172. I highly enjoy working with students who are much different than me
173. Being able to have a positive, productive rapport with students whose personality is very different than mine is extremely rewarding.
174. People can get along even though they're very different.
175. Breaking the ice
176. Getting to know the PERSON
177. Connecting with people
178. Being intellectually challenged
179. Creating environments in which diverse people who might normally be uncomfortable with each other can get along
180. Staying proficient with technology
181. Being part of a community
182. There are lots of smiles
183. Not taking things so seriously
184. Providing a rigorous curriculum
185. Setting boundaries
186. Enforcing boundaries
187. Maintaining and communicating high expectations for each student

1 comment:

Betty said...

When I substituted in a second grade class last week, I loved it when they laughed and appreciated my sense of humor. They were so sweet and just seemed to want me to be there. A lot of your 187 reasons came back to me. I never really thought I would like substituting after I retired, but it is fantastic!