Why Do You Teach?
“Why do you put up with it? Why would you or anyone else want to teach?”
by Sue Gruber, M.A.
Barbara Gruber Courses for Teachers www.bgrubercourses.com
Regular contributor to the Gazette
March 1, 2009
I teach in California. As of mid-February, we still do not have a state budget. We’re told to brace for the worst—IOU’s instead of paychecks, loss of class size reduction, across the board lay-offs, unpaid “furlough” days, deep program cuts, no supply budget, the list goes on. The media doesn’t help much. Night after night the news is filled with grim stories about a broken education system, failing students and low test scores.
The question has been asked by my family and friends, “Why do you put up with it? Why would you or anyone else want to teach?”
So here it is, in no particular order, my list of why I teach:
the variety—No two days are alike, ever!
the goosebumps—The absolute magic of seeing a beginning reader take off.
the wonders of genetics—The longer I teach siblings the more confused I am that the same gene pool and the same environment can yield children from different planets!
the mystery—The detective in me loves reading beginning writers’ work. Who knew that golmretwvr is golden retriever?
the perks—You know your friends are jealous of your coffee mug collection and your apple-themed decor!
the kids’ enthusiasm—For example, the excitement kindergartners display when they realize the word “the” shows up in just about every book!
the fame—Check out the look of awe on a child’s face when he spots you at the grocery store or figures out exactly which car in the parking lot is yours.
the art of teaching—Taking state and district standards and figuring out how to best make that knowledge accessible to children.
the drama—Getting so wrapped up by those kids you know you’ll never forget, the ones that you worry about when you should be sleeping.
the camaraderie—Sure there are days when they drive you crazy, but the support of colleagues really is priceless.
the newness—We get a completely fresh start every school year!
the learning curve—The longer we teach, the better we get.
the supplies—It’s OK to admit that you are obsessed with new pencils, crayons and glue sticks!
the growth—The amount of progress children can make in one school year is phenomenal!
the humor—You can’t make stuff up that’s as funny as the things that really happen in our classrooms.
the balancing act—Exactly how do you keep children challenged, parents informed and your desk organized?
Simply put, I love teaching! No other job compares to it. So tell me, why do you teach? [Use the Discussion link to post your list of whys.]
Sue Gruber taught the upper grades for years. In a moment of wild abandon, she decided to take the plunge and teach the grade she feared most—kindergarten! Sue just wrapped up her eleventh year in kindergarten and loves it. Who knows, the next grade level change might be to sixth grade!
Sue Gruber and Barbara Gruber, a mother-daughter writing team, have created dozens of products for Frank Schaffer Publications, Scholastic, The Education Center and other publishers. Barbara is a former teacher who was employed by Frank Schaffer Publications from l980 to l996. She developed and presented curriculum seminars nationwide for K-6 teachers.
Sue and Barbara launched Barbara Gruber Online Courses for Teachers in 2002. They personally write each course with today’s students and busy teachers in mind. Teachers can do coursework completely on their own, or, if they wish, interact on line with others. They can earn one, two or three semester units from University of the Pacific. Barbara and Sue provide practical strategies and ideas that can be put into action immediately without creating more work for teachers. Barbara and Sue have created exactly what teachers are looking for—teacher-friendly courses at affordable prices. You can find out about their courses at www.bgrubercourses.com
Sue teaches full time, manages Barbara Gruber Courses for Teachers and loves writing for the Teachers.Net Gazette. She lives in Sonoma County with her husband and son. Barbara consults for Barbara Gruber Courses for Teachers; however, she has “retired” from the business. Retirement for Barbara means she’s busier than ever in Healdsburg, California on a 25-acre working farm called Healdsburg Country Gardens. She and her husband are grape growers for local wineries, have three guest houses for visitors and host wine country weddings.