Why In The World Am I Doing This?

Why in the world am I doing this?

Don't Drop Out

This is starting to be another very rough year.  Over-crowed class rooms.  Not nearly enough supplies to make sure every student have what they need.  Majority of students that are making the choice they would rather disrupt than learn.  Students talking back.  Parents that tell you they can’t do anything with their kids and I need to do something.  More responsibilities, more paperwork, more documentation, with less time.  More people blaming the teachers because students are not performing.

Yea, I’m painting a very bleak, poor outlook to my career.  I am a teacher.  Worse: I am a SCIENCE TEACHER!  {The masses of parents, students and general public go into hiding at the mention of this topic}

I could make 25-100% more by going into the private sector.  My hours would be shorter.  My expenses would be covered.  I would actually get a paid vacation.  I could travel.

But…. I chose to work with kids.  I choose to find ways to open minds, excite and make kids question and wonder.  I choose challenge a group of kids to be more than their ‘hood’ had told them they could be.  I choose to help kids understand they are using science daily, and they never realize it.  I choose to inspire, cause intrigue and present mysteries.  I choose,…. this.

For my choice, state legislators cutting money for my classroom.  Retirement, raises, benefits are all in jeopardy.  Legislators changing laws to make it more difficult and expensive to take athletes to contests.  I’ve spent over $1000 out of my pocket last year for my students.

For my choices, I get…. Well…. Hard to explain.

Yesterday was the first day of the new semester.  As I returned from the copy machine, I had someone waiting at my door before school.  “Mr. Case, you remember me?  I was in your class a few years ago.  I decided to come back.  I dropped out a couple years ago.  Will you help me?”

Later that day, between classes, “Mr. Case!  I gotta show you sometin!”  They pulled out transcripts showing them in 12th grade. “I did it!  I am a senior!   You gonna help me on my senior project?  PLEEAAAAASE!!!!

Today, right after school, she came running down the hall.  “Coach Case! Coach Case!  I went to guidance and told them I wanted you and they said you didn’t have any classes I can take.  I really wanted to have you for a teacher.  Can you talk to guidance for me?”  ecological footprint poster 2

During tennis practice today, one of the parents from another sport came by the courts.  “Coach Case, may I speak with you a minute?  I heard you work wonders with kids.  Can my son come to your learning labs?  He really needs your help.”

I was getting a bit frustrated with not having the necessary skills to help the girls get better at their tennis game.  I was trying to get a bit more like a ‘coach’ and be a bit more mean.  “Coach… what are you doing?” “I’m trying to be a little meaner to get you to work harder.”  “Coach, you couldn’t be mean if you tried.”

Today, I was blessed to be named the DEN (Discovery Education Network) community member of the week.  http://blog.discoveryeducation.com/blog/2015/08/25/den-community-member-of-the-week-mark-case/

Why do I teach?  It’s because the dropouts the come back. It’s because of the senior project advisors.  It’s because the kids that want my class, and they don’t need it.  It’s because the parents that believe I have super powers (or something).  It’s because the athletes that love me when I can’t really help their sport.  It’s because someone out there believed in me.

Why am I doing this?  I teach because you can’t put a value on the reasons I teach.

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2 thoughts on “Why In The World Am I Doing This?

  1. Mark, you made me cry. Only teachers truly understand what it means to dedicate your life to being a teacher. Those children who are in my room each year (and some who aren’t) are part of me forever. One happy moment turns an entire day of struggle into a success to be celebrated. Keep making a difference one life at a time.

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