Why do I Teach?
by Rebecca Stone
Friends are the spice in life. They are there for you when you need them, and they are there for you when you don’t even know you need them. This is why I started to teach.
My friend told me about an open position that I 100% qualified for. She knew my background with kids and coaching, and knew it was the right fit. She also knew it was the right time in my life for a change.
Why do I still teach, 18 months after starting this? The students! I’m so blessed to teach a subject the students WANT to learn.
My goals are to have fun with them every day, to add a bright spot in their otherwise “normal” day. We have the flexibility with our vast curriculum to do this; we get to play with goniometers, theraband, and wrap up fake injuries.
I care about these kids, they are about to take the biggest steps in their lives, leaving high school for higher education. I want them to know what I didn’t know. I want them to anticipate how hard Anatomy class will be. I want them to know how competitive it is to get into PT and PTA school. And I want them to be the one at the college party to put others needs first and roll an unconscious person into the recovery position, thanks to our first aid certification class.
I LOVE opening their eyes to all the different branches of Physical Therapy. They come into the class thinking they want to work with athletes, and over half of them leave the class realizing old people are cool and joint replacements are amazing.
While it is a lot of work, taking classes myself to obtain my license, writing lesson plans, learning canvas, and grading homework, I can do it knowing the kids are working just as hard, and learning just as much. I like to call my class “fast forward” because we learn a TON, and about every two weeks I remind them of how MUCH they have learned and grown, and their smiles when they realize this is all the reward I need.
They give me that proud smile, and I know I did it – I taught, AND they LEARNED! Becoming a teacher has made me a better parent, and my kids love me for this. I understand more what their struggles are in school, and how the teachers are working with them, and I can be a more active participant in the process.
This was an unintended gain that no one told me about, so my heart is just overflowing with reasons to teach. Some days are tough, but there is always tomorrow, and rarely do we have two bad days in a row.
This IS the hardest job I have ever had, but I’m glad I was strong enough to make the change, and so grateful for a friend to help provide me the opportunity. Now, with the guidance of my mentor teachers (yes, it takes a village), my program is thriving.