Top Ten Reasons I Teach

OK, so vlogging is not easy for me. I am a much more natural writer than speaker. I do love the Open Spokes community that is developing around vlogging, though. I’m also happy that I am growing in my ability to speak into a microphone, though I have a long way to go.

This week the topic has been “Why Do I Teach?” As I attempted to answer that question, I realized that on any given day it depended on the conversations I had been having most recently. On Monday my answer would have been that I teach to leave a legacy (thanks to Gallit). On Tuesday, my answer would be to make myself and the world a better place (thanks to Ben). On Wednesday my answer would be because I was compelled to teach (thanks to Sheri) or because relationships with growing students are so rich and important (thanks to Erin). On Thursday, my answer would have been because teaching is a positive profession and we can be successful in important life-changing ways (thanks to Jas).

Well, finally it was Friday, and my turn. My top ten list is heavily influenced by the vlogs and conversations of my fellow Open Spokes.

In the spirit of learning to vlog, I’m going to refrain from writing the commentary that I meant to say in the video. I’m just going to leave you with the outline and the vlog itself. Thanks!

Top Ten Reasons I Teach

10. Learning perks.

9. Rubbing elbows with our role models.

8. Where else is a chief learner to go?

7. Waiting for education reinvention.

6. I want to seek forgiveness for my mistakes.

5. I want to be better.

4. I want to help students, colleagues and the world be better.

3. I want to leave a legacy.

2. I am compelled to teach.

1. I want to give students a safe place to be.

10 thoughts on “Top Ten Reasons I Teach

  1. Dear Denise,

    I loved your honesty and transparency in your video. When I looked at your list, I had a different idea of what you meant by role models from what you explained in your video. Rubbing elbows with your students as role models is very powerful, and I absolutely agree with you. I have learned so much from students and they made me a better person. Which reminds me of your #6th reason, asking forgiveness for mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes, but the ones that hurt the most seem to be the ones regarding students. — I remember the day I learned that fair wasn’t equal, and by treating a student equal was a bit unjust. I was lucky enough to explain that to her and make it right — but it sure was a lesson for me, and am so thankful that my students made me a better person.

    Thank you for sharing your top 10 reasons!

    Kind regards,

  2. Thank you, Tracy! I appreciate your visit and comment. Yes, I love that children are our role models. It makes it all the more serious when we are put in a position of leadership over our young charges. All too often I say something as the “person in charge” that doesn’t respect them. That’s why I have to ask for forgiveness so often!

    Thank you,

  3. Why do I teach? What a great question! I’m a scientist, so I love the list format of your answers. After watching the video, I feel like I’ve actually gotten to know you a little. You did a great job sharing your self-reflection and you’ve inspired me to revisit that big question myself. I also think that by writing this blog entry, you have done a great job of highlighting the role models in your life. Keep up the good work!

    1. Thanks, Stephanie,
      It is great to make the connection with you. Welcome to blogging yourself.

      It’s been a great experience for me to become connected and make my learning visible in blogging.

      “Why do you teach?” is a great question to ask ourselves on a regular basis, eh?


  4. Great video. Before I watched I was thinking, what would my top
    10 be? Could I come up with 10? But as I watched I was agreeing all the way. Thanks for helping me to put into words some of the reasons I teach. i’m also hoping for education reinvention, but I don’t have as long as you!

    1. Thank you, Donna. We’ll see the benefits in future generations, even if we aren’t in the classroom to see it firsthand. Thanks for stopping by!


  5. Thanks for making me realize that the children should be our role models. How else are we supposed to know how to teach them if we don’t let them inspire us? Thanks for checking out my blog. It really did make my day.

    1. Great, Sherri! I think one of the best things new teachers can learn is to keep learning. How can we ask our students to learn if we aren’t doing the same thing?

  6. The question you asked, “Why do I teach?” has been asked of me plenty of times! I too, have deeply pondered the answer(s), I seek! I love your answers, but the one answer that stood out to me the most, was your number one: to give students a safe place to go. We, as teachers, do not know what really happens at home, so if the eight hours a day at school is freedom to a child, then they should be able to enjoy it. No child should ever dread going to school, and no child should ever be afraid of going to school.

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