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I took a 30-day blogging challenge posted by TeachThought.com and here’s number 4.  BTW: It’s never too late to join in the challenge.

Day 4: Respond: What do you love the most about teaching?

This morning during breakfast I read today’s prompt and my first response was “Running into my former students and hearing how they are being successful in their lives, even just a few years after middle school.”   Now it’s after school, I’ve had a 10-minute power nap, ate supper and as I reflect back to the third day of this school year, my response is, “Watching my students’ expand their ideas, interests and knowledge of the world around them.”

To ask an educator to choose just one thing they love the most about teaching is actually cruel and unusual punishment. How do I pick just one aspect of my job? Being an educator is complex, and that’s what many of us are trying to help society, especially those making all the rules about the use of students’ standardized tests scores be a large portion of teacher evaluation, understand. As much as some people would like to simplify teaching to just test scores or grades or high school completion rates, effective teaching isn’t just one piece of data. Just as I can’t wear just one hat, hence the title of my blog, the love of teaching isn’t just one piece of my heart.

I love the children (but sometimes not their behavior choices). I love the “a-ha” moments (even when it’s not directly related to the curriculum I’m trying to teach). I love the challenge of engaging all students at every moment of every class period (because we all know that’s actually possible right?). I love the collegiality among my colleagues (even when that sharing makes me change my plans just a few minutes before class starts). I love the learning happening both within my students and within myself.  When any of these loves disappears or is taken away, I know it will be time to look closely at my options. I know I cannot be an effective teacher if a piece of my heart is missing.