This was the question posted last week for my early morning Twitter chat (#bfc530, #bfcedu). My response was basically this: Seeing my students do well in the real world. I think that is what drives me on the day-to-day. Knowing that through all the struggles with tech, administration, colleagues, everything… we are all here to see our kids do well.
More specifically, I have a few former students from my computer programming classes (circa mid-2000’s) that have gone on to do great things in the IT industry. And they have all shared their success with me via emails, social media and the occasional get together. Graduating from NJIT at the tops of their classes cannot be directly attributable to me, but they have all said that the spark for tech came from my class.
That is why I do this.
Teaching is a vocation for me in the strictest sense of the word. I know I am not alone in this feeling, as I can see it in many educators I come in contact with. We don’t do this for summer’s off, 3pm dismissals, snow days (okay, maybe for the snow days), or the pay. We do this because we have an inherent belief that what we are doing matters.
I got into this profession because of the passionate teachers I had throughout my schooling. The highest compliment I ever had was from a group of 8th graders I took back to my High School for a recruitment visit when they told me I taught like my senior English teacher.
I am proud of my profession and the work I do everyday.