Is it worth it to teach even though it doesn’t pay much?
I feel teaching is a worthy career pursuit. I’ve always believed that teaching would be the perfect career choice if the pay was better. Nonetheless, our job is to prepare our students to excel within and outside the classroom. If we are successful, our true payback comes when the students that we have helped along the way reach their potential. And although teaching is challenging and emotionally draining, it is also very rewarding. That is why despite all the challenges that we teachers face, I come back for more each and every day. I do believe that teachers deserve better pay. That is why I am and continue to advocate for better pay for teachers.
What is your favorite subject to teach and why?
Reading is my favorite subject to teach. I have an academic and moral charge to narrow the achievement gap that exists for schools within lower – income communities. By making certain that our students have a solid grasp over the basic skills like : reading, we are better positioning them to move ahead. The ability to read is crucial. It is virtually impossible to function properly in this society without being able to read. More than just something that needs to be learned, I want students to develop a joy for reading. When I learned to read, it opened a door to worlds I never could have imagined. That is the same experience I want for my students.
As a child, my parents brought me a book entitled : “The Little Old Man Who Couldn’t Read,” by Irma Simonton Black. Every year, I read this book to my students to convey just how important reading is. The book is about a toymaker who never wanted to read until his wife went away for a time and he had to shop for himself. He needed to buy soup. Instead, he wound up buying soap. The students always think that the story is funny. The story may be humorous, but the lesson is not. Not being able to read is no laughing matter.
What inspires you?
- I like cool quotes. Like : “Dance with the one that brung ya.” (Dance with the one that brought you). In other words : stay true to who you are and what you do. Never forget the people who were and remain in your corner. Too often in life, we tend to turn our backs on those who have been forever loyal to us.
- Superman : Superheroes like Superman are inspirational to me because they fight for truth, justice, and the American way. They realize that their superpowers come with super responsibilities. As a teacher, I understand that I have a responsibility to do all that I can to help my students to excel.
- Rocky : Sometimes in life, it doesn’t come down to winning and losing, but how you played the game. Each time Rocky got in the ring, his purpose was to give it his all. He wanted to go out fighting. I feel today that people give up too easily. We could all learn something from Rocky. You don’t have to stay down when you’ve been knocked down. Get up and keep fighting. No matter how hard you’ve been hit. This is definitely a great life lesson for everyone to take heed to.
- Norma Rae : This is about a union activist. This movie reinforces how when people (in this case public sector workers) come together to fight for common cause – change can happen. That is why I strive to forge relationships with fellow educators and encourage them to get involved when it comes to efforts to improve conditions for teachers.
- My crayon box : This inspires me because it takes me back to my childhood. It reminds me that I was once where my students are today. Just the smell of them takes me back to my childhood and the innocence of the time. Even today, I secretly keep a box in my purse so that from time to time I can take a sniff to keep me grounded and remind me not to take life so seriously.