After having a rough couple of days, I decided that I needed to remind myself as to why I do what I do, what I have been doing since 1998.
I do not teach for the money, goodness knows I barely make a living wage considering the number of hours I work, and the education I have.
I do not teach for the glory, goodness knows that I am rarely appreciated by my students, or their parents. There are exceptions to this, as I know very well, but they are the exceptions, not the rule.
I do not teach for the fun of it, goodness knows there are days when I am definitely not having fun. I always try to have fun, but some days it just is impossible.
I do not teach for the summers off, goodness knows there is rarely a summer that I have not taken at least one class/workshop, or have not worked at all. As a matter of fact, I can think of two in 13 years, the year we moved from England to Florida, when my summer was all of one month, and the year before we moved from Florida to Georgia, because I resigned my teaching position knowing we were moving over the Christmas holiday.
I do not teach for the "breaks", you know, winter, fall, President's Day, etc. Because goodness knows on those "breaks", I am still making lesson plans, grading papers, or something similar.
I do not teach because it's "easy", goodness knows there are days when I do not feel like I reached any of the students, and wonder not what is wrong with them, but what is wrong with me.
I teach, because I care.
I teach, because I want to make a difference.
I teach, because I want to make the world a better place.
I teach, because I can see the future in these student's eyes, if only they are given the opportunity to reach their potential.
I teach, because I know that this group of students has the ability to become future veterinarians, doctors, lawyers, musicians, actors, directors, statisticians, pilots, military members, and politicians, just as much as my former students are now doing, even the ones that we worried and lost sleep over 5 to 10 years ago (I love you guys! I know I didn't say it enough back then!)
I teach, because one day, perhaps tomorrow, perhaps 10 years from now I just might get that Facebook/Myspace message that says, you made a difference in my life, you always believed in me, thank you. And in that one message it makes all of the bad go away.
If you are reading this, thank a teacher, really, it's not just a saying, its the truth! I promise they will appreciate the gesture!