Updated: Jun 9, 2022
"You're going into teaching? Why on earth would you do that?" You see, there are many perks to the profession. Now, many people may not see being in charge of 20+ students as their idea of "fun," but teachers beg to differ. Don't get me wrong, there are many days that can be challenging, if not heartbreaking, but it's all part of the gig. I know things aren't the greatest right now for teachers, but no matter what condition the educational system is in right now, there is always going to be a need for teachers. Most teachers feel passionate about teaching children new things and they really want to make a difference in their students' lives. As teachers, we want to bring smiles to students' faces and add knowledge to their minds. We truly care for them and want to have them care for one another.
Right now, I want you to think of your favorite teacher. What was their name? What made them special? What made them great educators? Was there a specific lesson you remember them teaching? As a teacher myself, I strive to be one of those memorable educators and I think that's something all teachers dream of being. We know that we aren't going to touch the lives of every student that comes into our classroom as much as we'd like to, but if we can build that connection with a handful of students, or even just one—we know that we went into the right profession.
How does one spot a teacher or know that they are a true teacher at heart? Well, that's what this list is for. Enjoy.
1. You're Constantly Building Your Classroom Library.
That's right. You definitely hit up those garage sales that are practically giving children's/YA books away. 25 cents for two books? Take my money! You don't just buy them either, you are avid readers of them as well. (Yes, even the Twilight series when it was popular...)
2. Pinterest. Pinterest. And More Pinterest.
You thought we would have run out of room to pin stuff on our wall, but think again. Lesson plans, room decorations, crafts, games, snacks, etc. You name it and we've probably pinned it. No shame. No regrets.
3. Your Closet Is Filled With "Teacher Clothes."
Your friends have probably mentioned at least once or twice that you dress like a teacher even when you go out on the town and you take that as a compliment (most of the time). Your closet is filled with stuff for future dress up days as well as everyday teacher attire. You enjoy building your collection at thrift stores and other places of that nature because let's be honest, you aren't going to be a millionaire.
4. Target Is Your Best Friend/Enemy.
You're fairly confident that half of your paycheck gets spent here. A majority of the time you walk in only needing one thing, but then you get inspired while you're in the school supplies isle (or maybe even in the cereal isle) and you go HARD. You're pretty sure you need an intervention, but are also thankful that you see other teachers there while you're shopping.
5. Sales On School Supplies Get You Pumped.
Enough said on this one.
6. You Live For The Annual Teachers' Lounge Chili Cook-Off.
Whether you make your own chili or not, it's always a very festive time. You get winks when you reach for a certain chili from another teacher as if the prize of a $10 Culver's gift card is a brand new car. You find yourself ready for a nap after lunch after the food coma you've just been put in. Hopefully, none of the chili backfires with your system because there's only so many times you can step out of the room to "make copies" before students start getting suspicious.
7. You Try To Inspire Others As Often As You Can.
Any chance that you get you try to inspire those around you. You want to see the people around you reach their full potential because you know that they have it in them. This is what makes you happy and this is why you succeed as a teacher. It's not always easy and takes patience, but the process is what makes this career so rewarding.
I encourage you to reach out to that memorable teacher we talked about in the beginning of this article if you can and thank them. You never know how much it means to them to hear those words. As for the teachers that are reading this article, I want to thank you for pursuing this career and for making a difference. I hope you get a call soon.