As a student exploring all the possibilities and benefits of the teaching profession, I can tell you as a former teacher, coach, administrator and Department of Education Teacher Preparation Program specialist, there are many challenges and just as many rewards. The success of thousands of students throughout your career will depend on your preparation, use of resources and willingness to invest time and energy into your students.
Teachers seem to be underappreciated, but they are the key to a thriving school and a productive and connected student community. The more you invest in your students, the greater the rewards.
The ultimate display of appreciation will come long after they leave your classroom and you see them in positions of influence and purpose. To have a student come up to you 10, or even 20, years later and tell you how much you had an impact on their lives makes you realize that every day, all of the little things you do for them are remembered and can be the very catalyst to launch them toward their dreams and passions.
After more than 42 years in the profession, I can honestly say I would not trade what I have done for any other career opportunity or amount of money. You have the opportunity to leave a legacy that will long outlive you. You can look back and know that your efforts were appreciated in ways beyond your imagination.
I believe joy comes from having done something to help someone else be successful. You have that opportunity every day you teach to help others succeed. This lends itself to countless joy for yourself and those around you.
More About Gerry:
Gerry’s experience includes 17 years as a teacher and coach; 13 years as a school administrator evaluating and supervising teachers, developing programs and organizing staff development; and four years as a school district career and technical education (CTE) director overseeing programs. He has developed mentorship programs for high schools across the country and written curriculum for life skills enhancement for elementary and high school students. He was hired in 2005 by the Arizona Department of Education to develop a student organization for education professions and early childhood professions programs; thus, the Arizona Future Educators Association was formed. His vision was to create an organization where students, teachers and administrators could receive resources, personal leadership training and preparation to successfully implement programs and provide the best practices for preparing quality teachers for the future and organizing effective events and conferences to enhance student experiences in educational leadership development.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University.