The Problem With Teaching

I taught some lessons I was really proud of last week.  I taught the Mathalicious Cartogra-Fail lesson about the Mercator Projection map and its inaccuracies which the kids LOVED (please try Mathalicious if you haven’t!!)  and then the Warriors won game 73 beating the 95-95 Bulls record and providing us with a great opportunity to use Statistics to compare the teams and debate the better team!  I went home exhausted and fulfilled last week and then let some bitterness set in.  I thought to myself, “those were awesome lessons but yet they are recognized no more than the days I teach the not so good ones.”  I had a little pity party for myself…why work hard and be an effective teacher if it isn’t valued any more than ineffective teaching…I thought “That’s the problem with teaching”.

I pulled myself out of the pity party but can’t get that question out of my head…what is the problem with teaching?

The problem with teaching is that when you’ve spent hours developing a lesson and you think it was totally lost on your class that one student stays after to say thank you Ms. Powers I loved that.

The problem with teaching is that when you have nearly given up on developing a positive relationship with a student and fear you will never reach them they bring you a video of them winning their last track meet and beam with pride as you watch.

The problem with teaching is when you think the kids aren’t learning anything from you and you are ready to throw in the towel  you get an amazing e-mail from a parent about how their child came home talking about wealth distribution in America and thanking you for making math both real and exciting.

The problem with teaching is the student teachers that come into your life and when you feel unappreciated and unimportant thank you for being their mentor and pushing them to be better teachers.

The problem with teaching is that when you have nothing more to give and your own life is falling apart that your co-workers will pick you up and carry you over the finish line.

The problem with teaching is when you are scooping goldfish into bags after dinner to get ready for an activity the next day instead of playing with your own children your son will say, “mom I hope I have a math teacher like you when I am in middle school”.

The problem with teaching is there is no problem with teaching.  It nourishes me, it fills my soul, it makes me complete.  There are problems a plenty in education…policy, evaluations, politics and more but trust me there is no problem with teaching.




One thought on “The Problem With Teaching

  1. Well said and thanks. Nice to know there are others who experience these feelings – both challenging and affirming. I begin a new position at an international college in Bangkok next month. For the first time I’ll be creating lessons for preservice teachers. A whole new road to travel and as I’ve said before, perhaps yours too down the road

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