Friday, May 27, 2011

Friday's Five: Reasons I Love My Job

This week I asked for Friday's Five topic suggestions on the blog's Facebook page.  100% of those who responded asked me to list reasons why I love my job.  (We'll ignore for now that only one person responded.)  When faced with such an overwhelming percentage, I really have no choice but to give the people what they want.

If you'd like to make suggestions about future topics, discuss topics I bring up on the blog, or just make me happy that someone's on the other end reading my ramblings, make sure you click the "like" button on the right hand side of this page.  Also, don't be shy about sharing the blog and Facebook page with others.  Each post has buttons on the bottom that allow you to share several ways, including e-mail, Facebook, and Twitter.

For those of you unfamiliar with "Friday's Five", every week I'll be picking a new topic and listing five items that I think fit best.  Then I'll be asking you to share your thoughts in the comment section.  For past topics, check the Friday's Five page.

So, here they are:  5 reasons I love my job.

  1. I know I'm making a difference.  Without a doubt, this is the number one reason why I love teaching.  By teaching kids to think critically, by handling discipline situations with firmness and empathy, by having high expectations of all of my students, and by modeling professionalism and life-long learning, I truly believe I am giving my students the tools they will need to be successful. Notice that I didn't mention math and reading skills.  They are important, but, as I mentioned in my last post, they're not the most important thing that I teach, and they are certainly not what makes my job rewarding. 
  2. I get to serve my community.  Teaching in a small, rural town is much different than teaching in the suburbs or in the city.  I can't go anywhere in town without running into students, former students, parents of students, or others that know me as Mr. Soskil or Coach Soskil.  Despite the fact that our district has some of the lowest school taxes in the state, the economics of the area mean that our residents give a higher percentage of their income in school tax than most others in the state.  For these reasons, I enjoy being able to give back my neighbors.  I also feel extremely fortunate that almost all of the teachers I work with feel the same way, which is why most of them are involved in either volunteering, fund raising, or donating to non-profit organizations that help our community.  
  3. I enjoy my colleagues.  With very few exceptions, they share my passion for collaborating, learning, and helping the community.  I'd be lying if I said there were never any disagreements among the staff, but for the most part, our school is a very enjoyable place to work.  Plus, they put up with me, and nobody has keyed my car or slashed my tires yet.
  4. I get to spend a lot of time with my family.  If I had become a photographer, or chosen some office job instead of teaching, it's hard to imagine that I would get to spend the same amount of time with my wife and kids.  I get to spend most afternoons with my children.  Since my wife is a high school science teacher, we all have summers off together.  With the same vacations, we get to travel.  I know that years down the road when my kids are grown that this may not matter as much, but for now, I'm very appreciative that we get so much time together.  
  5. I'm constantly inspired by those around me.  The natural curiosity of my students inspires me to wonder about the world around me and learn.  Members of my Professional Learning Network (PLN), especially those in my Plurk network, inspire me to use new methods and technology in my lessons.  My colleagues' compassion inspires me to give more of myself to my students and the community.   It's a rare day that I'm not moved or impacted in some way by the comments or actions of someone I am in contact with because I am an educator.  
I could list many more reasons.  I'm blessed to have a job to which I look forward to going every day.

Now it's your turn.  Tell me in the comment section below why you love what you do.  Then share the blog with your colleagues and friends by using one (or more) of the buttons on the bottom of the post or re-plurking.  I'd love to hear from them as well.  

4 comments:

  1. I think the biggest reason I love to teach is when I see the "ah ha" look on a student's face. Knowing that I can help students to understand/learn new concepts/ideas is a feeling that I just can't get anywhere else.

    I also love my job because I am constantly learning. Whether it be with a grad class, from my collegues or from my students - yes, from my students.

    Learning from my students brings me to the next reason I love my job. Whichever classroom I am in, it's a learning environment, not just for the kids but for everyone. I love that the students can amaze me as much as I do for them.

    Working in WASD makes my next reason easy... the collaboration among teachers! I know that not every distict has that, but we are fortunate enough that we all share ideas with one another.

    And for a fifth (not final) reason, I love the challenges. I love that my students can (and do) challenge me as much as I do them. I love when my students exceed my expectations and ask for more! I love the challenges of coming up with new ideas for my students. etc...

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  2. I love my job because I don't see it as a "job." As a special education teacher, I am most rewarded when one of my students has that "ah-ha" moment and "gets it." There is no other satisfaction!

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  3. I love teaching because kids are what makes the world go round! I love helping the world go round! It is a very satisfying.....life is good as a teacher.

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  4. For the past 18 1/2 years I've lived my dream of being a teacher, a dream I'd had from the age of four (my Gramma Carr was a teacher and I will never forget how she worked with me on my printing at age 4.) Throughout grade and high school that was my only dream, save being a wife and mom. After 5 daughters and 3 foster daughters were old enough I went back to college and earned my bachelor's in Fine Arts and Elem/Special Ed., then my master's in Computer Ed. I'm rarely as happy as when I'm teaching...in any of its forms!

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