Why I Love Being An Educator (Satanic Bibles Excluded)

The Kids

This particular reason could equally be the leading point in a corresponding blog post titled “Why I Hate Being An Educator.” But seriously, my job is ALWAYS interesting and it ALWAYS keeps me on my toes; and ninth graders are the main reason for that. You never know what off the wall question, what bipolar mood, what hilarious comment, or what surprising encouragement you may get from day-to-day. I could be stuck in a sterile office environment and chained to a screen and desk.

But I am entrusted with real humans with real issues and real potential that I may play a part in tapping. There is high risk/reward in such an endeavor, especially when factoring in raging hormonal activity.

But maybe their relatively short experience in my class will help them garner a life skill, a moral lesson, a thirst for learning, or just an appreciation for a person that cared about their future. That’s a gamble worth taking.

The Schedule

I coach football and track, so I don’t have as much free time as others, but as an educator family time is easily planned and executed around holidays and summer time. When my oldest son, Josiah, starts kindergarten  next year I will be even more thankful for our corresponding schedules. Being an educator really is a family friendly occupation and I venture to guess that is one reason many of my coworkers are young mothers.

Also, do you remember that feeling you had as a kid anticipating Christmas morning? Teachers, in part, still get to have that.

I get to celebrate and revel in the arrival of Thanksgiving/Christmas/Spring/Summer break as much, probably more than, my students. I’ve even been known to blare Rebecca Black’s “Friday” given the weekend occasion, and at the end of last year I can neither confirm nor deny my class may have heard Will Smith’s “Summertime” on the last day of school.

Being an educator keeps me family focused and keeps me young.

The Ministry

As a public school educator, there are some legal constraints as to what I can say in my daily dialogue with students. But being in the mission field of a public high school the past 4 years has kept me cognizant of how lost and hurting and broken this youth generation is. When I was involved extensively in church youth ministry I always felt there was a religious facade that had to be penetrated before real ministry began with a young person. Spiritual games can be easily played at a church.

That facade doesn’t exist in the context of a high school hallway.

Not in the emo kid (with an absentee father) who brings his Satanic Bible to class instead of his Algebra book.

Not in the ninth grade athlete with a violent short fuse because his mom tragically died last year.

Not in the pregnant fifteen year old whose baby’s daddy is in jail for grand theft auto.

These are real kids with real issues. Sure, they can be hyper-emotional, rude, angry, lazy, disrespectful, and scallywags in general. By nature we all can be. But many of those attributes were learned in their early nurturing. And all of them need the same basic virtue applied to them that has been generously bestowed on me by One greater: Grace.

When I can’t give that overtly in words, hopefully they experience it in the way I treat them.

There are certainly more reasons than these, but these three are enough for me to be thankful for my calling/occupation.

Do you love what you do? Why?

Bryan Daniels

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Author: Bryan Daniels

I am a follower of Jesus, a husband to Jessica, and a father of three boys: Josiah, Gideon and Judah. I teach high school math as a job, read reformed theology as a hobby, and write this blog just for kicks. With the rest of my time I coach football and track.

15 thoughts on “Why I Love Being An Educator (Satanic Bibles Excluded)”

  1. Great post Bryan! Grace, grace God’s grace— what a blessing for you to be working with these troubled “tweenies”. They need someone…
    Thank you for loving the sometimes unlovely. Blessings
    Stephanie

  2. God bless, Bryan,

    I read with absolute delight your recent post on why you love being an educator. Although the majority of the students whom I teach are adult learners, I derive a similar kind of satisfaction that comes from being a teacher. Your comments brought to mind a poem that wrote in celebration of a teacher who had retired after teaching 33 years at the same institution. Upon learning of her retirement, I commented that someone should write a poem in her honor. No one volunteered, and so I took it upon myself to write one, which I have since shared with so many other teachers. Certainly, you are one such educator who understands full well the sentiments expressed in “The Teacher’s Task”:

    The Teacher’s Task
    For Bryan Daniels and all those called to teach—

    The smallest spark can kindle a desire,
    Ignite a fire to stir and warm the heart,
    And through the years the embers from that fire
    Will glow with light inflamed from that same start.
    In the dark of night should a doubt arise,
    A question of the road less traveled by,
    Recall that same glow in a student’s eyes
    Shall dispel the chill of questioning why.
    You who labored in the classroom have learned
    That rapport with student, colleague and friend
    Offers recompense beyond wages earned.
    You who loved the teacher’s task we commend:
    May joy warm your heart and sustain you yet,
    With memories of success and no regret.

    Lonnell E. Johnson/Dr. J

  3. I am a youth pastor and experience much of the same things– although I don’t have the same schedule. I enjoy what I do because of the people and the challenges. It is the very reason the church and our youth ministry exists. We do need more people like you in the public schools.

  4. I am a college student going to school to be a band teacher– it terrifies me, but at the same time I feel like that is a mission field that the Lord may just have in mind for me. Thanks for this post– it was just what I needed to read today!

    Anna

  5. Bryan, I am in a bible study with 2 men that are teachers and they share the same struggles. I do believe the fact that all of you recognize the struggle and do what you do each day is likely have an impact on more students and in ways that than any of you are fully aware.

  6. Great post! I am going to share it with my daughter who just graduated with an education degree. I have been where you are (I student taught for a brief time in college) and there were definitely challenges. God knows America’s youth need a whole lot more teachers with your passion for their welfare! Keep giving them grace, Chief! It’s the only message that signifies.

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