Why I Teach

by 2:58 PM 6 comments
In my current Grad course, we were asked to write a "Belief Statement" on why we teach. At first, I thought I could struggle. It's for a project we're doing as a final. It is an Intro to Tech Tools class (and I don't think I'm an Intro student), so we will be adding video and such.

The class has two weeks to go.

I started thinking. And in five minutes, I wrote. It was wonderful. I just starting typing.

In the comments, and possibly for another project, tell me why you teach.

I am going to put the whole text below, but here is the video I created (my professor hasn't seen it yet edit: my prof has now seen it):




I decided to become a teacher because I have experience that will benefit young people. Let me present that information from a different angle: I became a teacher because I was stuck in a job I didn’t like, taking a break and reading the newspaper, and saw an advertisement that said, “Are you stuck in a job you don’t like? Have you always wanted to be a teacher?” And I thought, “yes.” So I dove in.


And when I dive in, it’s full-steam ahead. I’m passionate. I care. I’m loyal. And I truly believe that every child can learn, and every child hopes to become better than their parents. And that’s a good thing. So I want to lead them. I want them to become involved in the world. I want them to become engrossed in their lives. I want them to be passionate.


What can I do? The same thing that every educator in the world can do. Teach. Advise. Mold. It’s a little bit of a power-trip to know that I can mentally push a student so hard that they become angry at me, only to become so thankful that they’ve been pushed that they break down at graduation and write me a letter more fluent and more thoughtful than any “History of British Literature” essay paper that was ever written during the 180 days-a-year I see her. And I can do it 30 times over.


And so I teach. I show students the dirt path, but I don’t pave the road. In the “real world” workers have to be able to be jacks and jills of-all-trade, even if all they do is as mundane and ineffective as memorizing something solely for getting it right on a test, the workers have to be able to relate and live socially. And I can help them learn those skills. What people forget is school is the real world. It’s 12 years of your life where you become who you are. It’s not a throw-away time that doesn’t matter. It matters.


A lot of what I’ve been saying is about me. But realize, none of this is about me. It is about the student. It is about the kid. The child. The learner. It’s about educators and administrators and faculty and parents that want to be involved in the growth of a seed into a flower. It’s not about graduating, it’s about growing. It’s not about getting to the next level, it’s about being prepared to learn for the rest of your life.


So why did I decide to teach? Because somebody decided to teach me 25 years ago. And that person decided to be passionate about it, and it resonated with me. And I wanted to do better than my parents. And I wanted to be better FOR Chambers, Lowe, Klocke, Tilton, Clarke, and Faris, Troutman, Bowman, and Hughes.


That’s why I teach. And that is my belief.

Rob Lindquist

Author

I do a lot of things. The best thing I do is fathering (I think). I'm the ol' "Jack of all trades, Master of none." I teach aspiring journalists. I run. I play guitar(s). I also host a running podcast. Oh, and I dabble in drawing. And I dabble in authoring... children's books no less. I just dabble. Sometimes I ramble.

6 comments:

  1. Wow! Rob well done, very impressive video. Where do you find the time? Even in the summer. My two grad EdTech classes consumed my summer.

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    1. Thank you Louisa! I have a really good prof that actually assigned something like this for a project, so I tweaked it just a bit. I'm glad he forced me to think about why I teach, I think it really focused me this summer!

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  2. I love your video! Great inspiration for all teachers as many of us prepare for the beginning of a new school year.

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    1. Thanks Meg! By the way, I checked out your blog, how do you think digital badges might work for 9-12?

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  3. Thank you for not just simply saying at the water cooler, "Hey did you see that article?" So many times in life and quit frankly many of us let everyone else talk us right of doing what we are called to do. Why do we do that?? why do most go around and ask, myself included. "What should I do?" I want to but I'm scared. What if, God forbid, I fail? What if people think I'm a...?" So with all of the questions that I'm sure you asked and even more positive people gave you an opinion that you didn't ask for.Thank you. Thanks you for taking a chance on this my son included and the next generation and dare I write, the next.

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to think about this! I consider myself a very lucky guy (in fact, the luckiest guy I know), and I'm glad to be doing what I do!

      PS - Your son is a good kid! He has a lot of passion about a lot of topics... I have fun challenging him to focus on those ideas, even if it is in addition to the curriculum.

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