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Why Teach?:
By Karen Natoli

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?"

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.

Given the opportunity to go back in time and once again select a career, I wouldn't hesitate to become a teacher again. My reason? After twenty-some years, I still enjoy the interactions with students, the look of understanding that appears on their faces as I teach, and the challenge of the job.

One of my favorite things about teaching is that it is multi-faceted. To be truly effective, a teacher must be creative and intuitive. A teacher must be a planner, an entertainer, a subject-area authority (ready to answer questions in an instant!), and a disciplinarian.

To be aware of thirty students at a time and keep them focused on what is happening in class is a continual challenge.

All in all, I love my job. I can't imagine any other career I'd be willing to pursue for thirty or more years!

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Karen Natoli

Karen Natoli received her bachelor's and master's degrees from Clarion University. She began her teaching career in Pennsylvania, where for 12 years she taught general math courses for the Hollidaysburg Area School District. During that time, she also taught night classes at Penn State's Altoona campus. Marriage and her husband's job moves brought Natoli to the Tatnall School in Wilmington, Delaware, and then to Ohio's JTPA (Job Training Partnership Act) office, where she worked with people trying to earn their GEDs. Natoli since has returned to the Hollidaysburg Area Schools, where she's teaching Algebra 1 and 2 to eighth graders. Natoli and her husband have a son, Tim.

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