10. Standards and the structure and mandates of the state and Federal governments are really not all that bad, in fact, many of the standards, assessments, resources, and curriculum support have a lot of heart and soul, and their intent is really to prepare kids for life.
9. Collegial relationships: The professional relationships and collaboration I have enjoyed buoys my teaching spirit.
8. My classroom: I have a lot of creative control in designing the interior of my classroom. I have books, posters, quotes, and a collection of Archie McPhee’s novelty items that would be the envy of any clown. I recently asked an insurance agent how much it would be to cover loss and damages of rubber chickens. He said he’d get back to me.
7. Books, book, books: I love to read. And I have a job that basically pays me to read, and help others read, too. Whoa.
6. My family life: I know many of you would make this a much higher reason why you love teaching; don’t misunderstand me, when my family life is chaotic or messy, it can sometimes bleed over to my classroom. (I try diligently not to let that happen, though.) The teaching day and year is designed to give everyone opportunities for “life experiences” too. This does not mean to say that it won’t change–many schools are changing the agricultural model of starting school in fall, and ending in late spring/early summer. We all know we don’t have fields to harvest (well, most of us don’t–the big companies have taken over that one for us). However, we all need a mental and physical break–students included. I often use these breaks to develop new units/curriculum, read books that I think my students will also like, and attend writing workshops. But I also spend time with my own family, and support their endeavors. That’s priceless.
5. Perpetual learning: I attended the Puget Sound Writing Project invitational last summer, part of the National Writing Project. That means I get to hang out with some really, smart, creative people. No sarcasm here: I am living the dream!
4. Reading, Writing, Thinking, Communicating: My favorite things, all day!
3. Autonomy: I take it has a positive challenge to develop and create curriculum that helps my students learn, and I have a lot of say in how this is done. I am trusted and supported by administration, because I have demonstrated that I care, I know, and I am dedicated.
2. Creativity: This ties in with number 3: I get to use my creative skills to well, create! I’m off the charts with this one.
1. My students – well, duh!