Why Do We Teach?

As the new school year approaches, I always find myself reflecting on the goals I want to achieve with my students. Also, I reflect on why do I teach. Is it to gain self satisfaction, to improve student’s outlook on life? This might be a hard question to answer. What do you think?

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18 Responses to Why Do We Teach?

  1. alicenhoy says:

    Nice poll. I always told myself that I would get out of education if, or when, I became a “grumpy old teacher”. I think that self-reflection is the key. We need to make sure that we as teachers are going into the classroom every day with the correct mentality. If we are there for the kids (as we as teachers should be), we need to make sure that we have that goal every day of our career.

  2. jenniborg22 says:

    I agree! I think that always evolving and trying to get the best out of our students is important as teachers. Great thoughts!

  3. Jeremy Stevenson says:


    Great question. I loved that show and want to think that is why I am teaching, in the end I picked A,B, & C. It is definitely not for the money. I could make a lot more elsewhere. It is really good to reflect on this question on a regular basis. I am ashamed to admit that at times it has turned into a job instead of a calling. I really do enjoy the students, though I have done a better job at showing that in the past. Thanks for making me think.


  4. jaimepiatt says:

    It’s important to self reflect each year. Not only do we become better teachers but we also can decide if we should stay in education. Like Alicon said, if we become grumpy old teachers, it’s time to find something different to do.
    Jaime piatt

  5. Mike Lipson says:

    I think everybody has their own reasons for teaching, and they evolve every year as we try new things and gain more experience. There are a lot of things about my job that I love, but there are still more than I haven’t discovered yet. Maybe I’ll find some new ones this year!

    Love the Dead Poets’ Society reference. πŸ™‚

  6. It seems as if a lot of us went in with the intention of helping students and impacting their lives. It’s easy to forget that when school gets rolling. It would be interesting to poll the students in reverse and ask why they go to school. I bet they wouldn’t match up as much as we would hope

  7. darlagrant says:

    This is a great way to get us thinking about the new school year. Honestly, I left a job making $1oK more than I do now because I just felt I needed to be a part of education. I want kids to love books and reading as much as I do, and I can only help them see its rewards if I am reading with them. That was my motivation, and it remains my motivation. I tweeted a blog post on Nerdy Books yesterday that reminds me of why I teach. You might enjoy it: http://nerdybookclub.wordpress.com/2013/05/23/sparking-readers-by-sara-kajder/

  8. jenniborg22 says:

    Darla, thank you for sharing Nerdy Books. I love this, and it is so useful!

  9. Jenni, you pose an interesting question. I think it is important to reflect on the reasons we teach throughout our careers. I have said the same as Alicen. If I no longer love it, I need to find a different profession. I had to answer A,B and C. Who wouldn’t want to be like Robin Williams πŸ™‚ I was surprised to see that ‘love of children” and “love of learning” weren’t options. Thanks for the reminder that I am blessed to be in this profession!

  10. jenniborg22 says:

    Angela, love of children and love of learning should be on the list for sure. I’m glad that those are reasons for you!

  11. Jason says:

    Great Poll, and better yet that the leading catergory is to be like Robin Williams in Dead Poets Society hahah!

  12. jenniborg22 says:

    Thank you, Jason! It has been fun to read through the responses in correlation to the poll!

  13. zunkertyler says:

    You question brought me back to a video I’d seen a few years ago made by a teacher, Taylor Mal, in which he describes “What teachers make.” It comes from the poetry slam movement and has a great ending! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxsOVK4syxU

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