The holidays are over and spring break seems like eons away. The skies are gray, the weather is cold and nasty, and your class members are taking turns being sick with colds and the flu. Life as a school teacher in January can be just miserable. And, for such a short month, February also drags on and on. The drudgery of the late winter months can make even the most dedicated teachers wonder why they chose this profession. However, teaching is still a rewarding job, even during the misery of winter. Here are four reasons why you should push through the winter slump in school:
You are shaping the future of the community.
Close your eyes and picture the kids that are currently in your class. Now imagine that it is 20 years in the future. This boy has salt and pepper hair, but still the same goofy smile, and that awkward young girl turned out to be an absolutely beautiful woman. Maybe the boy will become a biomedical researcher, figuring out a cure for AIDS or cancer, and the girl will turn out to be the mayor of the next town over. That’s the exciting thing about teaching. You could have the next President of the United States sitting in a desk in your class right now. The lessons that you are teaching these silly, trying, and funny kids could ignite a lifelong passion in a child. Your teaching has the potential to change your community, state, or even the nation for the better. Just give it a few years, and you will be amazed at the places in which your students will end up.
You may be the one to turn “that kid” around.
There’s one in every class. The frustrating kids that have a hard time following instructions or with whom you can’t have a serious interaction can make your life miserable. However, these kids are also often the funniest, brightest, or most clever kids in the class. Whenever you finally figure out how to motivate “that kid,” you may be just the one to change his future.
You will be there for their big moments.
Parents can’t be there for every big moment. Most of the time, when a kid finally figures out how to read, it’s a teacher rather than a parent who witnesses that moment. When the high school freshman lands a major role in the school play, you get to share the elation and joy of that special day. You are the witness when the awkward, nervous teen finally gains confidence after figuring out out that his talents lie in art or music. You watch the kids grow and change over the years. Many of them will keep in touch through Facebook, and you will know that you shared incredible memories with these amazing kids.
When the struggling learner reaches his or her goals, you will know that you were a part of it.
Some kids just have a hard time in school. They have to struggle harder for Cs than the star pupil has to work for As. While these kids do have a harder time learning and you will have a harder time teaching them, when they do finally achieve their goals, you can take pride in knowing that you were a part of it. And yes, telling the teary-eyed parent that his or her child finally passed a difficult class is a reward that is like no other.
Teaching in winter time is tough, but hang in there! Spring is on the way, and by the end of the school year, you will remember why you love this job so much!
Do you have any rewarding student/teacher moments – the ones that make you proud to be a teacher – to share with us?