Why I Teach

I teach to impart knowledge to the younger generation in order to make this world a better place for future generations. — Tammy Neil

Doesn’t that sound noble? It could be a graphic with a pretty background or a sunrise.

Many of us in the educational arena have said something like this at one point or another during our career. We are expected to be all noble with our intentions, after all teachers teach for the betterment of society. Right?

I teach for many reasons. The first is that when I was in high school, I was the person the other kids came to when they didn’t understand the lesson. I had a knack for “interpreting” the teacher and putting things in terms my classmates could understand. Also, when I was headed off to college in the late 80’s, there was a shortage of math teachers. I could find scholarships if I promised to teach for four years in a public school.

As the years passed after college, I found new reasons to teach…my students. Each one that has crossed my path has taught me something. I wish I could say I remember each and every one of them, but after 24 years that is almost impossible. When they reach out now through social media, the memories come flooding back.

I also love teaching because it evolves. When I started, teaching was about being “the sage on the stage”. Teachers were expected to be the encyclopedia in the room. Now we are moving to facilitators that help students find the information for themselves. We support our students as they use that information to learn and grow for themselves. That is amazing.

I will admit, that I love having time during the summer away from my students. I don’t get paid for my summers, contrary to what some believe. I am a 10 month employee. But I use the extra time to develop and grow my craft. I spend that time deepening the connections I’ve been able to make via social media.

There are so many reasons I teach. The reasons vary as much as my students. I love teaching. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

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I teach to impart knowledge to the younger generation in order to make this world a better place for future generations. — Tammy Neil

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