It might not be what you think…

By | 2017-08-01T21:43:32+00:00 November 23, 2015|Character, Secondary|

If you were to guess why teachers love teaching, what would you say? It might not be what you think…. Would you guess it’s because we love kids? Possibly. Do you think that we are in it for the moolah? Ha! That’s a good one. Or perhaps you might say, “those who can’t do, teach,” which is obviously my favourite expression…not. I can’t speak on behalf of all the other teachers in the world or even the ones at my school, but I can tell you why I, Stephanie Nicole Horahan…ahem, I mean, Botwright, love teaching.

1. I learn many useful expressions

For example, “Sassy!” Which is always followed by, “Madame, comment dit-on ‘sassy’ en français?” It’s vif/vive for the last time! Or one might yell, “Shots fired!” any time a student disses another or perhaps if I have a particularly feisty moment. Of course, using these expressions outside of school makes me look like a weirdo.

2. I can never take myself too seriously

Even when you’re teaching what you thought was the most engaging lesson ever, there is that one student who yawns like he just woke up from a 100-year nap and kills it.

3. I get teased by students regularly

I quite enjoy this fact. Most recently, I was appropriately teased for going from Point A to Point B in my classroom while seated on my rolling chair. I could say I do that more for the fun ride than laziness, but that would be a lie.

4. Students keep me on my toes

Like the time when I asked, “Apple music? What’s that?” There was an audible gasp that could be heard across the school. That was my first official, “Am I that old?”

5. I love observing students in the wild habitat of secondary

When I say I teach “teenagers,” many people cringe and ask, “Why?” They think secondary students are scary. But I love them! I can have so much fun with my students because we can laugh together and grow together. Sometimes I learn just as much from them as they do from me. Watching them is like a real-life soap opera every day! There is flirting, drama, and friendship crises galore. What more could you want? Not only that, but seeing these teenagers develop into adults over a four year period is an incredible sight to see. They go from scared little grade 9s to adult-sized, mature(-ish), independent individuals.

6. I love seeing students learn

This can be whether the concept be simple or profound. After finishing the book, “Les Misérables” in French 11, it’s wonderful to read student reflections on how the main character Jean Valjean (not pronounced “Gene Val John” as some students would believe) is just like Jesus. Or that we should love others by not only being generous with our money but also by being generous with our time. Then when you have a discussion about the story, you see that students have become passionate about it and make thoughtful observations about the characters and the plot, all in French. It’s amazing and for me; very rewarding.

7. I have to rise to the challenge of teaching

After being a teacher for a few years now, I don’t think I would be happy doing any other job. There is no possibility of ever being bored. Each day, a new situation will arise that I’ve never dealt with before and I have to either rise to the occasion or fall flat on my face in front of 25-30 people who are watching and observing my every move. If I don’t treat them fairly, if my expectations are too high or too low, if I don’t confront a behaviour problem or if I confront something too soon, etc., the students will have a reaction and I will need to deal with it appropriately, professionally, and with respect and love. It is the way that I respond to my students daily that will help them feel safe and comfortable enough in my class in order to learn.

So now that I’ve said my piece, are there any other teachers out there who will say what they love about teaching? Don’t be shy!

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2 Comments on "It might not be what you think…"

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Roy van Eerden

This was great, Stephanie. I wish I had seen it earlier. I especially can relate to #5. I am having some Nicaragua team withdrawal. One of the reasons I loved leading that team is it was my chance to hang out with and get to know teenagers. I love being with 3-11 year olds every day, but I learn so much from teenagers. It is good to be challenged in ways elementary students rarely do.
And don’t get me going on Les Mis. Best musical ever!

Jonathan Boer
I love it when I make a reference to movie (like yelling “Wilson!” with angst and despair), and everyone just stares at me because they weren’t born yet when the movie came out. But seriously, I think my favourite thing might be those precious times when the whole class is in the art zone, working happily away, and a song comes on that has everyone humming along. I just sit back and relish those moments, because it won’t be long before someone stabs their finger with the linoleum cutter. Or gets paint on their favourite shirt. Or snaps the handle… Read more »
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