Getting Real About Teaching: Top 5 Unusual Reasons that Teaching is the Absolute Best

Sure, the real reason that teaching is the best is our students, hands down. We also love our colleagues, the students’ families, and the impact we’re able to have on the learners in our classrooms. Some people might even add that having the summers “off” (hahahahaha) isn’t that bad. But what are the things that really get us going as teachers? Read on for my top 5 reasons that teaching is the absolute best.

#1 The front office staff. Let’s be clear: We all know the front office staff run our schools. They’re the cosmic glue that holds our schools together. At one school, they gave my incredibly shy child a little present every time she visited. One school secretary would always give me two candy canes in my mailbox during the holidays, when everyone else only got one. Which leads me to #2…

#2 Food! There’s almost always snacks all over the school. One teacher brings in the day old doughnuts. Someone made too much paella (this really happened). One mom, who was originally from Columbia, would deliver me homemade empanadas every month. Many of my students in Arizona brought me Christmas tamales during the holidays. Food feeds teachers’ souls and keeps us running.

#3 Notes from our students. In my wallet, I still carry a note that a student wrote to me in 2003. I love their drawings of me, their hilarious spelling issues, and the sentiment behind the notes.

#4 It keeps you young. I would be completely out of the loop if it weren’t for my students. They taught me about TikTok, sexist dress codes, The Office, and pronouns. Sometimes students are the best teachers, particular for all things hip and cool. 

#5 Inside jokes. In one class, I could yell, “Timmy, leave that number alone!” and all of my students would know I was talking about fractions. Nathan made up a hand signal that I still use when students make connections to a text. One day I admired Hannah’s headband, and the next day she wore two. The following day she wore three. By Friday Hannah was wearing five headbands. 

Would you add a sixth best thing about teaching? Comment below!

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