Search form

No Regrets:
By Bernie Poole

What is teaching like today? Who should do it? And who shouldn't? This Education World series features essays on teaching by teachers as they answer the question, "If you had it to do all over again, would you still become a teacher?"

To this day, I don't know why I wanted to be a teacher. The idea sprang into my head round about the age of 10, and I never even considered anything else. The weird thing is that I was an awful student. My teachers had to be constantly on my case to help me survive. My gratitude to them is beyond words.

Bernard J. Poole

Bernie Poole, currently an associate professor of education and instructional technology at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, Pennsylvania, has been a teacher since 1966. For the first 15 years of his career, he taught English, history, French, or English as a Foreign Language, primarily to middle school children in England, Nigeria, and Saudi Arabia. For more information, see Bernie Poole's Home Page.

I've been teaching now, more or less continuously, for going on 39 years. I can honestly say that I have no regrets whatsoever.

At various points along the way, I decided a change would do me good, so I left one school and started up fresh in another. Teaching also took me around the world. I've taught on four of the seven continents: Europe (England and Wales), Africa (Nigeria), the Middle East (Saudi Arabia), and North America (the United States). I've taught at just about every level, kindergarten through college.

I'd definitely do it again. It's been hard work, and always a challenge to do it right. But the rewards come at the end of each day when I'm driving home and feeling good about what I've done to help my students grow.

As Sarah Bernhardt put it so well: "Life begets life. Energy creates energy. It is by spending oneself that one becomes rich." Sarah Bernhardt (1844-1923)

Good teachers dedicate their lives to giving. Their reward, often unsung, is lodged in the minds and hearts of the children whose futures they have touched. The sure knowledge of this brings a joy that surpasses in richness any mere monetary reward.

 Click here to return to the main article.

Love Teaching?
Do you love teaching? If you had it to do all over again, would you? Could you? Share your thoughts in a Love Teaching essay and send it to [email protected]. If we publish it, we'll send you an official Education World mug.

Education World®
Copyright © 2005 Education World