I love to share my observation that elementary teachers love their students, high school teachers love their subject, and college instructors love themselves. Oh, and middle school teachers love chaos and wine! This gets a nice chuckle when I say this, mainly because middle school teachers can relate to the chaos of middle students. However, the reality is to be effective teacher, you should enjoy what you teach, but always love who you teach the most.
Now, this doesn’t mean you will like every student. In fact, you will have some students who will get on your last nerve and drive you crazy, but that doesn’t mean you don’t love them as a human or want the best for them.
In fact, those are the ones who need love the most. In my 15 years in education, I found that students who I didn’t connect with usually were the ones who acted out or tried to get attention in unhealthy ways, like disrupting class. Therefore, I learned early on that I needed to focus on connections before I focused on content.
Throughout the years, this helped alleviate many behavioral issues in class. When you develop that rapport with students, there really isn’t a better job in the world. When I think about my years teaching, I did enjoy teaching English, but I loved the kids, and the kids are the one thing that I miss most about teaching in that setting.
When you think of the long hours, the planning, the weekends spent making lessons and the list goes on and on… you do need a genuine affection for kids in general or you will never survive a career as a teacher.