It is so important, in any job, to remember the things that you love about what you do. Luckily, I love the vast majority of what I get to do as a teacher and tech coach! My dad always repeated the saying (and actually just told me again on Monday!): “If you do what you love, you’ll feel like you never work a day in your life.”
While teaching does feel like work (mostly when I have to spend an entire evening grading lab reports!), I love the day-to-day aspect of being with my students. I love the spontaneous fun that is created when I get to interact with my students, and when their personalities and interests shine. I had a student a few years ago who struggled with chemistry but LOVED making movies. And when he had an opportunity to connect what he loved with the course content, he ROCKED it! And the students talked about his video for the rest of the year! Last year, I had a few students who asked to be the emcees and judges for our Mole Beauty Pageant on Mole Day (it’s a chemistry thing!) – they were hilarious, and were even cracking chemistry jokes that incorporated what we’d learned in class! Their energy bonded the class on whole new level. And there’s smaller moments — like early in the year every year, when I show the students my “Water Making Machine”, I step back and see who emerges as leaders and how other students gather the courage to share their ideas. (And I love when they come back years later, as seniors or graduates, and ask if I’ll tell them how that Water Making Machine works!) I take great joy in seeing the shy students form friendships and gain confidence, and in seeing the outgoing and boisterous students slow down and persevere alone as they conquer a challenging problem. It is incredible to think about the personal growth I get to see and nurture in my students every year!