The prompt from the blogging challenge today is to address what I love most about teaching. I appreciate this invitation to talk about what makes me committed to my profession.
I love seeing the light bulbs go off. Sometimes that is evident in class. We’re discussing an idea or a text, students are really engaged, and–eureka!–I can see that the students are learning something of value.
But what I love even more are the quiet shifts that unfold over the course of a semester. In my best classes, I see my students’ knowledge deepen and become a part of who they are. That’s what I love most.
Recently, a former student tweeted at me about how he missed the Literacy Studies class we had last fall. I miss that class, too. Those students were just so engaged in class content–they worked hard to understand difficult concepts and I saw them grow in both their understanding of literacy and their commitment to teaching. We shared an important moment in our evolution–I see them now as they finish their undergrad program or start student teaching or decide to go on to grad school . . . and I respect who they are so much. Knowing that I played a role in their intellectual and personal growth, well, that’s one of the most addictive things about teaching.
Teaching matters. It creates change. It facilitates growth. It changes the world.