Commentary: Why I Love to Teach
A love for teaching develops at a young age, or at least it did for me. As an elementary student, I assisted my classmates with their classwork and that was what inspired me to work with children.
It is when you are able to work one-on-one with a student of any age that you receive the privilege of witnessing the spark that they have inside and get a glimpse at their future. Additionally, the growth they make from the beginning to end of the year gives me a sense of triumph, especially when the child has been told and continues to tell himself, he is a lost cause.
The value of each child and his opinions are difficult to appreciate in public as you see the children racing through Wal-Mart or darting out into the street. However, inside the classroom their minds open up and ideas flood out. These ideas are what will make our world a better place in next decades.
The responsibility of nurturing and feeding those ideas/desires falls on me. The moment of success or accomplishment is what reassures me that I am truly making a difference in the life of each student whether great or small, immediate or ten years down the road.
There is so much that we can learn from children, academic and non-academic. One of my greatest moments of instructional satisfaction occurred at the end of reading a biography of Frederick Douglass, the former slave and activist.
My entire class erupted into applause at the final line of the biography, “One man’s skin can be black and another man’s skin can be white – but under the skin we are all the same.”
Even at the age of 8 and 9, they could see the simple triumph of humans over trial and adversity. They experience and understand so much more than adults or even the children themselves realize.
They never cease to amaze me with the stories or creative expression they provide. These moments of true understanding and many other “little things” are why I love teaching.
Kayla McWorthy is a third-grade teacher at Cottonwood Elementary School.