A Rewarding Career
Teaching is truly a rewarding career. Teachers are special people who choose their life's work not for monetary gain or because it's easy, but because they are called to teach. In the United States, we are very privileged to provide our children with a free appropriate education. Truly effective teachers treat each student as if they have paid handsomely for their education and should get something worthwhile out of it.
It can often be hard, however, to find joy in the job of teaching. Sometimes days are filled with red tape and disruptions. Some students and parents will not respect you no matter what you do. People will make comments to you about how horrible it must be to be a teacher. Yet through it all, remember why you became a teacher: to positively affect the lives of children.
Celebrate Small Victories
Teachers need frequent celebrations. Every time you accomplish a written or unwritten goal is a cause for celebration. Take the time to truly enjoy your small victories. Treasure any words or notes of praise and pull them out when you need a pick-me-up. Spend time with fellow teachers discussing positive comments that you have heard students make. In the end, life on earth is so short that we must grab a hold of every moment and live life to the fullest. If you are spending all week just counting the days to the weekend, then you are not in the right job.
Look on the Bright Side
Much of being happy in life is looking at the positives and working to eliminate the negatives. If you want students and people to like you, be positive in attitude and action. Do not look for trouble, because you will surely find it. Instead, look for inspiration, beauty, humor, and growth in yourself, your students, and your coworkers. Do not spend time focusing on the negatives of teaching. Instead, stay true to your beliefs about the value of people and of education.
Teaching should be fun, interesting, and challenging. It should provide you with many opportunities to grow. To be a happier teacher, celebrate the little things. Remember to measure rewards by single events. You will be happier in the long run.
The Noble Profession
Teaching truly is a noble profession — ever-changing and always challenging. Know that you can meet the challenges of teaching and succeed. It is an amazing thing when students come back to you after they have left your course and tell you how much you have meant to them. As Carl Jung said, “One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child.”