Why Teaching

Teacher Satisfaction

American Teacher: Heroes of the Classroom


In a recent article about happiness at work, Harvard professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter suggests that the happiest among us are those who are solving the toughest problems and "making a difference" in people's lives.  If contributing to the betterment of the world is indeed among the keys to happiness, then it's no wonder that the extraordinary teachers featured in "American Teacher: Heroes of the Classroom" [Welcome Books/Random House] express a deep sense of fulfillment and pleasure in the work that they do day in and day out.


Here are some reasons you might want to consider teaching:


To positively IMPACT THE FUTURE of our world



"From the time I started teaching, I was less interested in being a certain type of teacher and more interested in showing the students that they had worth and value.  I believe that the true purpose of a teacher is to prepare kids to be good citizens of the world--to be satisfied, well-rounded human beings, which is not entirely about knowledge.  A great measure of success is your ability to think critically and be intentional with your life."  Josh Anderson teaches Debate, Forensics and English at Olathe Northwest High School in Olathe, Kansas.


To GET A LETTER like this



When Los Angeles teacher Rafe Esquith sent a check to help out a former at-risk student who was attending NYU, here's an excerpt of the response he received: "I appreciate your willingness to help me.  It reminds me (as if I could ever forget) that you are one of the greatest people I have ever had the honor to meet.  But I'd much rather the money you are offering me go to the class, so that one day maybe some other kid will be in a position like mine.  And while I'm on that subject I just have to tell you, I tell our story to anyone who will listen.  Rafe, I honestly believe I would be dead right now if it wasn't for you.  I was headed down a dark path, where drug dealing didn't seem so bad and the acceptance of a gang was looking like the only way to be accepted.  You saved me from that."


To discover your TRUE CALLING



Eleven years ago, I began teaching high-school mathematics in Harlem and I've never looked back.  Every day, my life has purpose.  Every day, I make a difference.  I teach content, even advanced placement statistics and advanced placement microeconomics at the college level, but I teach so much more.  Simply by engaging in spontaneous reasoned dialogue with students, I offer them new ways of perceiving the world around them.  I teach life skills; I teach morals; I teach wise choices; I teach compassion.  I spend time with youngsters who need an adult who treats them with respect and kindness."  Jane Klir Viau left her lucrative Wall Street career to become an AP Statistics and Microeconomics teacher at the Frederick Douglass Academy 1 in New York City.





"I knew what it was like to struggle in class so, as an adult, I felt that I could make a meaningful impact with my students no matter where they came from or their level of daily challenges.  They simply needed good education, not the usual heavy-handed dose of memorizing and testing."  Dr. David B. Lazerson teaches Special Education Music and Drama Therapy at The Quest Center in Hollywood, Florida.


Read the full article at: 21 Reasons to Quit Your Job and Become a Teacher

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