Why (Did I Become a Teacher)?


Dear Teacher,

Let me introduce your Substitute Teacher for today.  I am quite excited to share his thoughts with you, because it is different than any other post I have put up so far.  It is a “teacher testimony” of sorts.  It is the back story of a teacher and why he decided to put the hard work in to become and stay a teacher through all of the ups and downs of teaching.  I think you are going to like this one!

Your teacher today is Mr. Tim Sexton.  Teacher Tim has been a teacher for the past 15 years and is currently teaching at Davidson Middle School in Crestview, Florida.  He believes that all students CAN learn and that it is our job to facilitate their learning.  He teaches students to think for themselves and be responsible citizens in the school, the community in which they live and within their own lives.

It was 6 a.m. June 3, 1994, at the end of the graveyard shift of stocking at the local grocery.  All night I was thinking of math formulas, biology vocabulary, and other items of testing interest for the second part of my day, college.  The store manager had asked me to stay later because it was the July 4th weekend, and there was still product to put out for the potentially busy weekend.  I told the manager that I was unable to stay because I had class at 8 a.m. You could see and hear the frustration as he told me to go to his office; he wanted to talk to me.  I opened the door to the office to see him standing there huffing and insisting that I stay later to help out.  I repeated, “I can’t”.  He asked, “What are you going to school for?”

I told him I was going to school to become a teacher.  As he replied while laughing, he said “you know teachers don’t make that much money, right?”  I told him without hesitation this reply, “I know, but if I can keep one student off the beaten path I was forced to walk growing up, or see the “LIGHT” come on in the eyes of a student, that is worth any amount of money you can ever pay me.”  He had nothing to say after that, and I left that office to continue my pursuit of fulfillment.

Have you forgotten your reason why you do this?  Most of us are heading into our summer break tired, run down, and ready to do nothing but re-coop.  Think about that question, “Why?”  Why do you get up early to go a place that doesn’t seem to appreciate you?  Why do you stay late trying to do a little extra for those same people that drove you crazy all day? Why do you make calls to parents who don’t care to talk to you? Why do you keep trying?  Well, we do it because we care; we do it because we are called to do so; we do it to make a difference in the lives of young ones where this may be their only chance to find that difference.  Take out those letters you have collected throughout the years from former students thanking you for being there, for teaching, for taking the time to say “HI” every day when no one else did.  Those are reminders of “WHY” we continue doing what we do.

How do you answer that question?  Whether you are a beginning teacher or 15 years into what appears on the outside a thankless profession, Look inside and remember your “WHY”.

Thank you, Teacher Tim!  I love this idea of remembering our “WHY,” especially on those tough days!

Teacher, what is your “WHY?”  Do you have a back story like this?  Do you have a reason for teaching that you can look back to?  Have you developed even stronger “WHYs” since you started teaching?  I know I have!  Please share yours with the class.  🙂  It is encouraging to hear the reasons other people teach, because it reminds you of yours.

You are awesome, Teacher Tim and every other Teacher reading this!  You are believed in.  You are amazing!  Keep on teaching, Teacher!

Love, Teacher

For more hope and encouragement: @DearTeacherLT (Twitter) and Dear Teacher/Love Teacher Facebook Page.

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4 thoughts on “Why (Did I Become a Teacher)?

  1. Thanks for the reminder! I have just finished my 31st year in education–13 in teaching–and 18 in administration-returned to teaching when I remembered why I missed the classroom–my students. Have a wonderful summer of rest and reflection as we prepare for another great school year.

  2. Pingback: Substitute Teachers Subway Station | Dear Teacher/Love Teacher

  3. Pingback: Celebrate Teacher Times, Come On | Dear Teacher/Love Teacher

  4. Pingback: Practicing What I Teach | Dear Teacher/Love Teacher

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