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Teaching is a calling and being a teacher is definitely not the easiest thing in the world. In fact, right now, it might be one of the hardest jobs. Whether you agree with me on that or not, we can all agree that teachers have an important role. They are the people who are shaping the minds of the next generation. People, that’s HUGE! I wouldn’t trust that role to just anyone. It takes a special kind of person to become a teacher and here’s why I became one.
4 Reasons I Became A Teacher
1. I truly love teaching.
Do you have that thing you know you were just born to do? Teaching is that thing for me. I truly love it. Whether it’s teaching children in a classroom, my own kids at home or teaching about RV life or homesteading online, I’m in my element. I’m always looking at experiences and scenarios as a learning opportunity. When I see an object, I think about how I can use it in a lesson. It’s just one of those things I can’t turn off.
I spent three years as an elementary classroom teacher, two years as an online English teacher, and now I am a preschool teacher. Every time I’ve left one position, it wasn’t long before I was longing to teach again. That’s partially why I started this blog. I get to teach people all about different aspects of our lifestyle from the comfort of my home. I can teach RV and homesteading tips & tricks and help answer people’s everyday problems through my lifestyle blog. It’s a win/win.
2. I wanted to make a difference and have a positive influence in the lives of children.
Teachers spend more time with our kids than we do and have an opportunity to have the greatest influence in their lives. Growing up, I didn’t have the easiest childhood and there were moments when I just needed someone to be there for me. Looking back on those years, I see the teachers who stepped up. I wanted to be that for someone too.
Everyday, children step into the classroom carrying burdens we never see and coming from homes we couldn’t imagine. They are expected to leave it all at the door and be ready to learn anyway. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. Teachers are the listening ear, shoulder to cry on, parent figure, role model, and even the disciplinarian. We wear a lot of hats, all while attempting to educate and prepare children for the real world.
On the contrary, I had a professor in college who didn’t like me. She made it very clear she didn’t like me. When I was in the middle of a particularly trying season, she added fuel to the flame with some very rude comments that made me really question myself. To this day, I can still replay that conversation in my mind, word-for-word. In a time when I needed grace, she was harsh and condescending. I took it to heart, but it was also a very valuable lesson.
In that moment, I promised myself I would never be that teacher. I promised to always meet my students where they were, with love and compassion. To be quick to listen and slow to respond. And to never use my words to tear down a student, no matter their age.
3. I wanted to show the love of Christ to those who may never hear the Gospel at home.
As a follower of Christ, I’m called to live differently. I’m called to show love and grace to everyone. To be the hands and feet of Jesus. That’s what I want to show my students. There are kids who never hear kind words at home and who never see love displayed. I want to be that for all my students.
I am fortunate enough to have spent my entire teaching career in a Christian school setting and I have been able to actually teach the Gospel and talk about Jesus. But, that’s not the case for everyone. In public school, you can’t talk about religion. Thankfully, we don’t have to talk about Jesus to BE LIKE Jesus.
how to love like Jesus in the classroom
Maybe you’re struggling to show the love of Christ in your public school classroom. Here are some practical things you can do:
- Greet everyone with a smile and kind word or compliment.
- Write personal notes of encouragement to your students.
- Check in with your students (daily, weekly, or monthly) and see how they are doing. Ask them about school, home, etc.
- Ask your students about their thoughts and opinions on different topics.
- Always be an active listener.
- Attend extra curricular events whenever possible.
- Send positive notes home, letting parents know when their child is doing well.
- Always look for something good in every situation.
- Be slow to anger.
- Show grace.
Grace is getting something we don’t deserve and can be tricky to show. Why is it tricky? Because it isn’t fair to everyone. In order to show grace, you have to know your students on a personal level, and it will look different for each one. Sometimes, grace looks like letting a student sleep in the back of your classroom because you know they were up all night listening to their parents fight. Other times, it’s letting a student turn in an assignment late without a point deduction because they were taking on responsibilities that weren’t meant for them. It’s those small acts that are done in private, but make a lasting impact.
4. I wanted to make learning fun for children who struggle to learn.
It’s no surprise that every child learns differently and there’s no cookie cutter way to teach. I went to school for Special Education and learned extensively about how the brain works, learning modalities, and differentiated instruction. I was determined to take that knowledge and use it to make learning fun.
Have you ever experienced a lightbulb moment and watched a student finally get something they’ve been struggling with? I have and it’s the best feeling! I wanted all of my students to experience that. That doesn’t come from worksheets and textbooks. It comes from hands-on, play-based learning. It’s crucial at any age, but especially in those early years.
If you’re looking for ways to add fun into your classroom or with your own kids, check out the Toddlers & Preschool category. I share fun learning activities that are great for the classroom or homeschool learning.
There are so many more reasons why I became a teacher, these are just my top 4. But let’s talk about something else, why I DIDN’T become a teacher.
Why I didn’t become a teacher?
Let’s be honest for a second. Teachers are greatly underpaid and under appreciated. I didn’t go into teaching for the paycheck. No one in the education field went in for the money. Most teachers went into the field because they were called to it. They deeply care for children and want to guide them, lead them, and encourage them. I’d bet that most of the teachers you know went into teaching for the same reasons I did.
This week is Teacher Appreciation Week and let’s take the time to celebrate the teachers in our lives and show them how much we appreciate all they do. Whether you have school-aged kids or not, I’m sure you know a teacher. Take a minute to shoot them an encouraging text and motivate them to finish out the year strong. If you’re feeling generous, send them a coffee gift card!
If you do have school-aged kids, here are some great gift ideas for Teacher Appreciation Week.
Let’s shower those teachers with love this year! And you can shower this teacher with love by subscribing to the blog and following along on social media! This month I will be sending out my first EVER newsletter and you won’t want to miss it.