August Think-About: Why Did You Become a Teacher?

Fire and WaterI became a teacher because I love sharing what I learn with other people. And I LOVE TO LEARN!!

As early as 1st and 2nd grade, my classroom teachers used me as a peer tutor. While I’m guessing their intentions were mostly to benefit the students I tutored, they might not have had any idea how much they empowered me! I learned more from helping others learn… and a fire was ignited inside me for life! [Image Credit- peasap1]

I left the classroom 10 years ago to teach adults. As a classroom teacher (secondary vocal music), I could maybe influence a few hundred kids a year. As someone in professional development now, I hope that I can influence that many teachers or more… who will then go on to influence their many students. I miss being in the classroom, but I know that what I do is very important.

What made you decide teaching was what you wanted to do? Do you have that fire in you? Are your students reflecting that fire?

Several edubloggers have posted this video (I saw it at Free Tech For Teachers), but I thought it was worth sharing, too. From Apple Teacher Institute:

1peasap. “Fire and Water.” peasap’s Photostream. 25 Oct 2007. 15 Aug 2008.

13 thoughts on “August Think-About: Why Did You Become a Teacher?

  1. Ouch! A couple of those video comments hit too close to home… I guess I need to look at delivery as one of my professional goals this year…

  2. I think we all have been guilty of at least one of those… if not more. We teach as we were taught. BUT, recognizing it is half the battle, right? And you’re thinking about change as a goal, so good for you!

  3. I was going to be a journalist until my HS speech teacher said my writing wasn’t good enough. I ended up with 2 study halls my junior year and was “convinced” that my 1st hour should be spent in a 2nd grade classroom helping a student (w/cerebal palsy, I believe…). Ever since then, I’ve loved being in the classroom. Changing to the pd side last year also was a blessing, allowing me to focus more on technology. I do get that itch to have my own classroom again every now and then…usually at least once or twice a week. The itch is something that I don’t think will ever go away…

  4. When I went into college, I was in an engineering major and nearly flunking out. Clearly that wasn’t for me! I went into education and knew I had really been drawn to it since Kindergarten. I had always loved school and love being in a school environment. Two years ago, I left the classroom and have been doing professional development in technology. Which I have wanted to try since I met my first tech trainer during my first few years of teaching. I love what I do now but still I miss the classroom occasionally. It has gotten better with time however. I hope that I too can influence more teachers to be the best they can be.

  5. I have never been anything but a teacher — even when I was a little kid. I have had many different job titles, but in all of them, I was teaching.

    Whether it was a kid’s khoir at church, working with people on their finances, or (right now) being in Tech Support…..I am always sharing ways for others to learn.

    I think the reason I love teaching is because I love sharing, I like people (most of the time), and there is always something new to know. Plus, I enjoy that with the internet, my classroom has no walls and I am able to share with MANY people.

    I have taught from Pre-School to adult — and realize that pretty much they are all the same. They need smiles, hugs, fun ways to learn, encouragement, snacks and naps!!

    Thanks for the post. Thanks for inviting me to share.

  6. I have always enjoyed working with people and having what I do make an impact on others. This can be done directly by my actions which improve the life circumstances of others or indirectly by setting up conditions that assist the actions of others as they improve the life conditions of others.

    Education of our youth is the one action that, in my opinion, has the greatest impact on improving the life conditions of an individual. This can be demonstrated in lifetime earnings of individuals relative to the level of education attained.

    The last comment I would like to make is that as a teacher a person more significantly impacts fewer indivduals/learners. As an administrator, a person less significantly impacts a greater number of individuals/learners.

    Thanks for allowing me to share.

    Larry Witt – Superintendent
    Gibbon Public Schools

  7. Josh: perhaps that unfortunate discouragement turned into something positive. I know the people in your district appreciate you! Thanks for your two cents! 🙂

    Deanna: your passion for education shows in everything you do. I know it’s contagious, and I’m sure you have a positive impact on all around you. Thanks for your comment!

    Jen: thank you! I completely agree with the fact that we now have classrooms without walls. I just hope that we can figure out how to get past the control issues and make the school environment the best place for kids to be as they learn and grow. I also agree that we all need hugs, snacks, and naps. 🙂 Thanks!

    Larry: First, thank you for taking the time to comment here. I appreciate your perspective so much. I also truly believe that education is the great equalizer, and that we have to do everything in our power to ensure that all students learn. I don’t buy into just giving them the “opportunity” to learn– it’s our job to help them get there. Thanks again!

  8. I went into teaching kicking and screaming. See, I come from a family of educators and administrators. I know the sacrifices involved for both the educators and their families. I went to college as a pre-med major, but when I had my first child, I decided I needed to buckle down and decide what I wanted to do for the rest of my life and it wasn’t medicine. My shoes ended up at the ed department and I’ve been teaching for 17 years. I love it! I wake up ready to go to work. I can’t wait to laugh and see the students. I’ve taught my 2 older kids and I’m waiting for my last one. Parents trust me with their most precious treasures, and even if they are middle schoolers with attitude, I take that trust seriously, and I continue to learn so I can be a better teacher for them.

    Cathy Ikeda
    Kamehameha Hawaii
    Middle School reading specialist/literacy coach

  9. Thanks for sharing, Cathy! I wish all my children could have teachers like you! Your enthusiasm and caring means so much to those students… especially middle school! Thanks for your positive outlook!

  10. I just got this post in my Google Reader. I had felt bad that I missed it when you emailed me, but I feel better knowing it was FeedBurner and not me.

  11. I became a teacher because:

    – I wanted to work in a profession that could make a difference in improving society.

    – I wanted to help people.

    – I honestly wanted a job that did more than just focused on money.

    In the end, I think I’ve found exactly what I was hoping for, and more – June, July, and August have been icing on the cake! 🙂

  12. Darren: your reasons are very similar to most everyone I know. And anyone who becomes a teacher just for “a job and paycheck” isn’t very good at math. 😉

    As for June, July, and August– as a teacher, I never had the summer off. I was always doing extra lessons or taking classes myself. In my current job, I work almost all summer. So you’re the lucky one! 🙂

  13. Thank you for posting this video. This reminds me of my father as a teacher.

    You may like the documentary that was made about my father:

    his blog is at

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