Monday, August 5, 2013

A Teacher? Why Would You Want To Be A Teacher?

It's a big week in our house, a week where a milestone will be marked and celebrated. A week where family will gather and cheer for a girl so precious to each one of us as she crosses the university stage once more.  She'll don a hood of blue to match her eyes, but also because its the color required for her discipline and graduate degree.

Next week she begins grown up life. Oh, she's been a grown up for a while now, but somehow finishing her Masters Degree and accepting a full time teaching position makes it all feel more official.

When people ask me what my daughter is studying, and I say teaching, I'm generally met with one of several reactions.

Teaching??? I don't know why anyone would want to be a teacher these days!!  

Teaching? How means she'll have summers off.

Teaching? But your daughter is so smart and has so much personality. Shouldn't she be running a company or something?


I know there is much to complain about when it comes to our educational system. I know there are some truly awful teachers out there and some truly lazy teachers too. I also know that for every bad teacher who makes the news, there are fifteen good ones who do not. And isn't that that all the more reason to encourage the best and brightest to become teachers? To fuel their passion instead of trying to squash it? To pursue and recruit those students into the field of teaching instead of pushing them in some other direction?

My daughter2 has always always always wanted to be a teacher. When she was ten years old teaching pretend school in our basement I was teaching real kindergarten. She probably had more lesson plans written out than I did.  She loves and relates well to children of all ages, and she likes them too.  That may sound silly but let's face it, we all know teachers who don't seem to like kids.

My girl is responsible and organized. A wonderful role model for any child. Dependable and a self-starter to the nth degree, plus she's smart. Also strong, compassionate, and brimming with self-confidence.  She loves to plan, and loves it when a plan comes together. More importantly she excels at going to Plan B when a plan does not come together.

Aren't these the qualities we want all teachers to possess?

After learning she 'got the job' my daughter told me her head started spinning. I knew exactly what she meant. People love to comment on 'teacher hours', but what they don't always recognize is the way your students and your vocation are never far from thought.

That inside the head of every good teacher the wheels are always turning. How when you lay down at night you are thinking about the boy in the first row, third seat back who needs some new approach when it comes to reading. Or the mean girl in the second seat, second row, who needs to see in you an example of kindness and compassion.  Or the parent who hovers anxiously outside your door, wanting a tablespoon full of reassurance or maybe a whole bucket load.

My daughter is a new teacher. She won't be perfect, but her effort will be. She knows a lot, but she doesn't know everything. That's the thing about great teachers. They are always learning, always adjusting what they do to meet the needs of their students. They tweak and fuss and read and research. They talk to other teachers. They scour the Internet. They pray.

My daughter pinned something on one of her Pinterest boards recently and I'm sharing it here. I don't know who wrote it, but I know I love it. (You can find a cute printable of the prayer here).
Next time someone tells you they're studying to be a teacher how about you say-Fantastic! The world needs more people like you doing the job.

Once upon a time I was the mom of a third grader. A blonde haired beauty straining to exert her independence, but still needing plenty of snuggle time with her momma. Big blue eyes and a curious mind.

Adventurous. Hilarious. A heart of gold.

first day of third grade circa 1998

She is still that girl.

Dear Parents of soon-to-be third graders-

You are so lucky.  

Love, the teacher's mom


  1. Teachers are special people, indeed. And I'll just bet there will be some third graders who fall in love with theirs this year. :) Blessings to your D2!

  2. Well put! I am one who supports teachers in their great efforts. My sisters are all three teachers. It is the most important job on earth, next to parenting, though many times the parenting isn't there at all, moving the teacher up to the #1 spot, for sure. Not recognized, not compensated enough, not respected (anymore)...a tough job, and hours & hours of personal time is spent grading papers and preparing lesson plans, and worrying about the kids (not to mention money spent for supplies to help those in need). God bless our teachers everywhere! I'm sharing your poem with my sisters - thanks. Beautiful.

  3. This is sooo exciting and fabulous!!

    I for one love it when 'kids' say they want to teach. Especially if I know them well and know they will be great at it! And 3rd grade is sooo fun! They are still little sponges and they love to go to school and still love their teachers! ;)

    That's a wonderful prayer, I'm going to share it with Georgie. ♥

  4. Loved this! Wishing all God's best for your daughter in her new adventure.

  5. I LOVED this from beginning to end, and sooo identify and support! My daughter too ALWAYS wanted to be a teacher and worked long and hard to reach that goal. She loves kids and likes them too and I know just what you mean. She taught the second grade one year before she stopped to have her babies, but she has every intention of going back eventually. The world is a better place with gals/teachers like these, and I am soo excited for your daughter's new job. Somehow I just KNOW she is going to be a fantastic teacher and those kids are going to be soo blessed. Congrats to her!

  6. So well said! Kudos to your daughter for following her heart and blessings to her as she starts this new journey.

  7. The education field is really getting crazy. I for 1 am glad that there are young people like Daughter2 who want to teach. We need more like her! :)

  8. I totally admire the teachers at my kids' school. Teachers have to play so many roles other than just teacher and a great teacher makes all the difference in the world. Congrats to your daughter! You deserve to be proud of her.

  9. Awwwwww. What a beautiful tribute to your daughter and teachers. I still remember all my favorites and every one of my grade school teachers were wonderful people. Always kind, concerned, and I appreciate the hard work they do. Congratulations to your family and I know your heart is swelling with pride.

  10. Joyce, this was so beautifully and sincerely expressed. Your girls have your heart! What a blessing that is for you and them alike. Today's children are so in need of someone who can be for them all the things in the writing you shared, and so few receive it. May God richly bless your blue-eyed young adult child

  11. Well said Joyce! Congratulations to your daughter too! My husband is a high school teacher and I am very proud of him. He puts in so many extra hours after school and at home. I run a preschool in my home and I also am planning, creating, cutting out crafts, etc. after the kids go home… just so my students have the best learning experience they can.

    To those who judge teachers negatively, please walk in their shoes before you do so. It takes a special, intelligent, caring and kind person to be a teacher. Don't you want the best of the best teaching YOUR child?

  12. You, as usual, have expressed your thoughts so well. Congratulations to your daughter in achieving her life long dream. My youngest daughter was also a teacher until after her 2nd child was born. There are definitely no short days in a teacher's job.

  13. Oh, isn't it the truth! Our daughter was just as excited as your daughter when she began her teaching career 11 years ago and we got the same comments that you got and it aggravated us so much. Our daughter is so "called " to the profession and just keeps adding more "feathers" to her cap and will likely one day end up in Administration. I bet Shannon will end up with her National Teacher's Certification too! I so enjoyed reading her blog after she had gotten the job. Such enthusiasm it made my heart smile. What fortunate kiddos she'll be teaching!

    1. Thanks Lea...actually Shannon is not the teacher...she wrote the blog about her sister : )

  14. Congratulations to your daughter and for knowing what she wanted to do from an early age and going for it. Good luck in her first teaching job, I'm sure she will learn a lot and be able to impart a lot as well.

  15. Well two things - there are good teachers and there are bad teachers. My daughter is one and I am sure your daughters will be too.
    And it is not the educators that ruin the school system - it is the higher ups.

    Love, sandie

  16. Congratulations to Daughter2, and her Mama!!!
    What a wonderful accomplishment!
    Everyone has had a teacher near and dear to their hearts, may she be the one for the many, many children!

  17. You are so right, we need more good teachers! Congrats to your daughter, and I wish her the best with her new job :)

  18. Congratulations. I think it is awesome from one former teacher to another with a daughter a year away from the profession too. I understood this post way more than I wanted to at moments LOL. I wish her the absolute best of luck :)

    Lucy from Lucy's Reality

  19. That is so beautifully said! I know just what she means about her head spinning ;) You are right...those qualities she possesses will make a great teacher! How exciting!

  20. Congratulations to your daughter and I know she will be an amazing teacher. I read your daughters blog about her sisters accomplishment and new job! You must be very proud of both your girls.

  21. How exciting! You will have to update us, if you can. I went to school to be a teacher, but have never taught in a classroom. I am going to try and figure out how to teach a K, 1st, 4th, and 5th grader simultaneously this year, though. The pay is less than ideal, though ;)

  22. Awesome Joyce!
    Congrats to Maggie. Have a wonderful graduation weekend!
    You & Tim must be beaming ;-)

  23. I so love this! My daughter is a teacher too. She teachers chemistry and other sciences, and also has a learning disabled class. She's been teaching for 7 years and is so gifted at it. It's a calling, and people who don't get it, just don't get it. Teachers are the BEST! They are so crucial to our entire society. The good ones are priceless. They change lives. My girl teaches like that. She's in a Catholic school,so she can pray w/ the kids and counsel them outside of class. She is a mentor to them. I'm so grateful her heart is soft toward her students, and that she absolutely leans on God for guidance in her career. So happy for your girl! She will change the world!