Stepping Back into the Classroom – Why I Teach

By Melissa McQuarrie

why I teachI went back to the classroom this year. After 10 years as an administrator, I chose to re-immerse myself into the thick of things. I wanted to see what teachers were talking about when they complained about standards and deficits in curriculum.

I wanted to know if students had really changed in their attitudes toward learning. Most of all, I wanted to find out for myself if being around children all day, every day, would fill up the place in my heart left aching by my newly empty nest.

Thankfully, the answer to that last question is a resounding “YES.” The brightness in my students’ eyes is as sparkling as ever. The hopefulness in their spirits fills me with happiness. Their eagerness to connect, to talk, to be heard is worth the price of admission. What’s more, I’ve found that they have an urgent need for relationship–for connection with an adult that cares.

The good news is that teachers are idealists. We step into our classrooms because of our ideals, not our cynicism. We stay there because deep inside, we believe that children need us. We see ourselves as the proverbial “saver of starfish” — knowing that we cannot save every starfish on the beach, but believing in the importance of saving “just that one.” We know that each life we touch makes a difference, and that’s why we’re there.

  • What brought you to education?
  • What keeps you here?

Would love to hear your thoughts.

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