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Why I Became a Teacher

Sometimes I  forget why I became a teacher. 
I undervalue my expertise and experience.
I find myself going through the motions of teaching but my heart is not in it. 
Something is missing. 
I don’t feel right.

This often happens when I follow somebody else’s ideas or plans that I’ve had no part in creating. 
This happens when my confidence starts to get a little shaky.

I start to question myself.
I worry that I’m not doing enough, or the right thing.
I worry that I’m too soft or too hard.
I forget that teaching is a verb and it doesn’t exist in isolation.
When I remember why I’m in the classroom and to whom I’m talking, my confidence returns. 
I can see who is in front of me.
My students are whom I see.
I meet them where they are, physically and metaphorically. 
I engage them in brief conversations about learning.
I provide quick words of encouragement.
I give specific feedback in the form of a compliment or a suggestion.
I look at a student’s work to see what they’re understanding.
I redirect them if necessary.
I smile a lot.
It is at these moments that I remember why I became a teacher.
I did not become a teacher to follow a teacher guide
or someone else’s neat plans that when executed with my students don’t turn out to be so neat and awesome as they appeared at first glance.
I did not become a teacher to then forget why I became a teacher.
I became a teacher to inspire and be inspired.
I became a teacher to work with young people because they are full of wonder and curiosity.
That’s inspiring.
I became a teacher to take part in helping to shape the next generation.
I became a teacher because I have hope and faith in our youth.
They inspire me.
I became a teacher to make a difference.
If I am successful, then the long hours, the mountain of work, the endless meetings, the exhaustion, and what seem like unending insecurities will all have been worth it.

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