Why I Teach
I teach because I like the pace of the academic calendar. June, July, and August offer an opportunity for reflection, research and writing.
I teach because teaching is a profession built on change. When the material is the same, I change--and, more important, my students change.
I teach because I like the freedom to make my own mistakes, to learn my own lessons, to stimulate myself and my students. As a teacher, I'm my own boss. If I want my freshmen to learn to write by creating their own textbook, who is to say I can' t? Such courses may be huge failures, but we can all learn from failures.
I teach because I like to ask questions that students must struggle to answer. The world is full'of right answers to bad questions. While teaching, I sometimes find good questions.
So teaching gives me pace and variety, and challenge,and the opportunity to keep on learning.
However, the most important reasons why I teach are that my students grow up and change in front of me. Some have become doctoral students with excellent success and found good jobs; some have become interested in the urban poor and served as civil rights lawyers; some have decided to finish high school and go to college.
But teaching offers something besides money and power.it offers love. Not only the love of learning and of books and ideas, but also the love that a teacher feels for that rare student who walks into a teacher's life and begins to breathe.Perhaps love is the wrong word., magic might be better.
I teach because, being around people who are beginning to breathe, I occasionally find myself catching my breath with them.