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World Teacher's Day: Why Teachers Do What They Do

Today is World Teacher’s Day, and that means it’s time to take a moment to appreciate those who taught us all we know. So thank a teacher, behave in class, and just for today, try to put yourself in a teacher’s shoes. To make that last request a little easier to fulfill, here is a first-hand look at what school is like for teachers and why they do what they do.

Roxie Brotsky

Roxie Brotsky

Taught: First grade, transitional first grade, fourth grade, Parents as Teachers coordinator
Taught for: 29 years 

What is one of your funniest teaching memories?
"One involved a sweet little preschooler I worked with who gave me a hug one day then stepped back and, looking aghast, said, "Uh oh." I thought she had caught her very long hair in the button of my dress and asked her if her hair was caught. But she shook her head and said, "Uh oh. I'm sorry that booger got stuck on your dress." I looked down and, sure enough, there it was. Preschoolers are awesome. Another one I remember was when I was discussing some current events with my first grade class. It was years ago when forest fires were burning in Yellowstone and we were discussing things that can cause forest fires. One little boy earnestly raised his hand and excitedly said, "I know, I know, I know what caused the forest fires in Yellowstone." I asked him what it was expecting him to say that someone didn't put their fire out or that someone threw a cigarette out a window of a car. Instead he said, "Aliens came from another planet and started the forest fires." I must have looked shocked because then he said, "I know it's true because ___ told me." He named another little boy in the class as the source of his wisdom and, when I looked over at the other little boy, he was looking sheepish and literally sliding down in his chair under his desk. It was hard not to laugh but it did take awhile to correct that misconception!"

What is the most rewarding part of teaching?
"I enjoyed the challenge of working with each age group I taught which ranged from babies and toddlers all the way up to 10 year-olds. Each grade and age group had its own rewards and challenges and I enjoyed them all! The most rewarding part is when kids that have been struggling suddenly "get it." You can see the lightbulb come on and their confidence goes up. I find it also rewarding when I hear how great my kids are continuing to do many years down the road. They, not I, am responsible for their continued success but I like to think that I may have played a tiny part in it." 

Carolyn Brown

Carolyn Brown

Taught: Speech pathology, Early Childhood
Taught for: 37 years

What is one of your funniest teaching memories?
"One funny instance was the "blizzard" in my classroom. Students started dumping fake snow from tactile table, then trying to make snow balls and throw it. The room was covered in fake snow. Another funny story: I was reading to a class 'Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly' and as I said that phrase a fly landed in my mouth. Everyone roared with laughter!"

What is the most rewarding part of teaching?
"The rewards are seeing the light turn on and the future successes of the students."

Georgana Brown

Georgana Brown

Teaches: High school English (Junior and Senior)
Teaching for: 15 years

What is one of your funniest teaching memories?
"I was teaching a math class and thought 'plus or minus' was the word 'tor -' !"

What is the most rewarding part of teaching?
"Building relationships with students who want to keep in touch after graduating."

Tillie Ehresman

Tillie Ehresman

Teaches: K-3 Music
Teaching for: 3 years

What is one of your funniest teaching memories?
"I often leave school with a handful of hilarious quotes from the kids. They really do say the darndest things!"

What is the most rewarding part of teaching?
"For me, the most rewarding part of teaching is the relationships I am able to create with the kids. Of course, I also love it when they finally understand a concept, but the relationships are definitely the best."

Gail Jantzen

Gail Jantzen

Taught: 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade
Taught for: 33 years

What is one of your funnies teaching memories?
"I had a child with aspergers who had gotten upset. Usually I could bring him around by joking with him, so that's what I did. I got NO response! So I said, "you know it's OK to laugh when I tell a joke...". He looked up at me over his glasses and said, very dryly " sometimes, Mrs. Jantzen, you're just not that funny...". Well, the whole class ROARED...which got him laughing, too!"

What is the most rewarding part of teaching?
"The most rewarding part of teaching for me is the relationships developed with students, their parents, and my colleagues... And watching/helping students succeed."

Daniel Julich

Daniel Julich

Teaches: World and European history and Honors Program courses such as Global Impact and Creativity and Innovation.
Teaching for: 4 years full-time, 4 years temporarily and part-time.

What is one of your funniest teaching memories?
"I am sure that there are many memories that my students could think of, but one of the ones that is most memorable to me was during the last meeting of one of my World Civilizations classes, when one of the students came dressed in a sport coat like the one I wore and glasses in imitation of me."

What is the most rewarding part of teaching?
"The most rewarding part of teaching is seeing students find something fascinating about history that they didn't know before or to have some insight about our world based on what they are learning about the past. I also love being able to research and learn new things for myself."

 

Greg McGlynn

Teaches: Theatre I, Theatre II, Repertory, Stage craft
Teaching for: 22 years

What is one of your funniest teaching memories?
"Going on little sleep during show week, I wore my shirt inside out (by mistake) ALL day and not ONE student (or I) noticed it."

What is the most rewarding part of teaching?
"When a production all comes together and you hear the audience ooh, awe, laugh, applaud and cheer the efforts of the students (gets me teary eyed every time.)"

Susan Shipman

Susan Shipman

Teaches: Kindergarten
Teaching for: 20 years

What is one of your funniest teaching memories?
"A kindergartner in my class when I was observing in college had to go to the bathroom. There was already someone in the bathroom in the class. So I told her to go to the one outside. I meant the one in the hall. She took me literally and went outside on the playground and went to the bathroom."

What is the most rewarding part of teaching?
"When a student does not understand a concept for awhile, then they understand it. I love how excited they get!"

Gentry Sutton

Teaches: College writing
Teaching for: 5 years full time, 10 years part time

What is one of your funniest teaching memories?
"One of my funniest memories is walking in to an upper-level college classroom and seeing my students all sitting on the floor like kindergarteners, asking me to tell a story because it was 'story time.'"

What is the most rewarding part of teaching?
"The most rewarding part of teaching is having a student tell me after a course has ended that what he or she learned or how my class helped him or her in another class. When I hear this comment, I know that the student has made important connections and truly learned."

 

Tennissa Williams

Tennissa Williams

Elementary Education major, working with first grade
Teaching for: 3 months

What is one of your funnies teaching memories?
"A little girl who has spina bifida and special needs was called on to answer a question on the smart board. She does not let her special needs hold her back, even a little. She proudly answered her question and was instructed to pass the smart board pen off to a boy of her choice who was sitting quietly. After thinking for a while with lots of "hmmm's" she said "I pick xxxx because he is a HANDSOME boy" the boy blushed and the girl sat down. Then later that day the little boy walked behind her and she peered over her shoulder with a flirty smile and said "Hi handsome boy!" If only we could all have the confidence of that first grade girl!"

What is the most rewarding part of teaching?
"Relationships built with students for sure."

Who are your favorite teachers?

Who is your favorite teacher? Tell us below in the comments, and share this post with them! And teachers, don't forget to comment some of your favorite teaching experiences!

Ashley Aulbach

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