Sunday, June 5, 2011

Why Teach?

Good teaching is hard to pull off. Let’s talk.

I’m licensed as a “Master Teacher” in the state of Colorado, and hold National Board Certification in World Languages Other than English. I’ve taught middle school, high school, and adults. I have 12 years experience in education, and from my second year of teaching, I’ve mentored and trained several other teachers.

And I’m still figuring out how to do my job.

I think teaching in public school is the hardest job on earth to do well. Just my opinion, based on personal experience and observation. Unlike some teachers, I've had a variety of other jobs. I've sold snowcones at carnivals, plowed wheat fields with a tractor, been in the Army, worked as a switchboard receptionist managing 40 incoming phone lines, worked in women’s clothing retail, supervised 10 teachers as the ELL coordinator for my school district, and written an online course for a university. Teaching in a public K-12 classroom is by far harder than any of those jobs.

Yet I choose to do it on purpose. Why?

I love the challenge, and when I actually pull off an excellent day of teaching, I feel like a million bucks.

Seeing students learn and enjoy it is incredibly fulfilling.

Summers off.

I know the average human could not step into my classroom and do what I do, and that makes me feel pleasantly smug.

The U.S. is in desperate need of good teachers.

My students give me so much love and joy. Usually.

I know that I am making a huge difference in a lot of young people’s lives. Hopefully mostly for the better.


  1. Absolutely agree with you about teaching! By the way your books this year where SO helpful!! If/When you come out with new materials, let us know!

  2. I know, your books make so much sense. Some of the things you suggested such as the seating/room layout I had not done for ten+ years. I gave your suggestions a try as far as three sections of desks (Chile, Mexico, & Argentina) and what do you know? It actually worked! This day in age, it helps me connect better to the kids. I see everything and they know it! The cell phones and inattentive behaviors are so much easier to spot. Plus this goes for on-task conduct too.

  3. I actually had to change my seating arrangement this year to accommodate 35 students in a classroom, and the only way I could figure out how to do it was to reduce to two countries. They don't directly face each other; they form kind of a "V" leaving acting/activity space in one corner of my room. It seems like with my current students, if the banks of desks directly face each other, they are a little more distracted by each other and more likely to yell across the room. The arrangement I had this year put a little more focus on me instead, and I ended up liking it more than I thought I would.


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