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The Right Reasons:
By Robin Smith

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?"

If I had it to do all over again, I'd most definitely still become a teacher. Being a teacher has helped me personally to be more patient, kind, considerate, and understanding. Being a teacher has fostered my ability to learn and grow, to embrace lifelong learning, and to keep current with the many changes taking place in curriculum, education, and technology.

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It is important to enter teaching for the right reasons. If you are becoming a teacher to have June, July, and August off, think again. Most summers are filled with courses, in-service training, writing curriculum, and more.

If you are becoming a teacher because you love learning and helping others learn, because you want to make a difference in the lives of youth, because you're willing to work hard and against many odds to help students learn; then teaching probably is for you.

Teaching isn't always fun. If you just want to do the fun things, then volunteer, be a coach, or work at the Y. Teaching is doing the hard things, as well as the fun things. But seeing the joy on the face of a child who has succeeded at something he struggled to accomplish is a huge reward.

If you crave constant recognition and thank you's, don't bother becoming a teacher. Sometimes you never hear that thank you, but know you have done a great job anyway. You might teach for 30 years and never get much recognition, but you will know in your heart that your work has mattered, and that because of you, many children will have a bright future.

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Robin Smith

Robin Smith worked as a respiratory care practitioner for 12 years before taking a job as a teacher. After nine years in the health care field, she found herself bored and unchallenged. She wanted a change and knew she wanted to be a teacher. She arranged a switch to full-time night shift at the hospital, so she could commute 75 miles to attend classes full-time during the day.

Robin found teaching business education to be everything she had hope for, and she has never regretted her decision to become a teacher. She has worked for the Hollidaysburg (Pennsylvania) Area School District for 13 years. Three years ago, she accepted her current position as educational technology specialist. Robin still misses the classroom, but works with technology and curriculum and feels she still is making a difference for both students and teachers. Robin serves on Education Worlds Tech Team as well as the Teacher Team. For more information, see her Technology Pages.


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02/28/2005