Tuesday, April 16, 2013

sols: why i stay

Slice of Life hosted at the 

I have taken a much-needed break from Twitter the last couple weeks, or maybe it's even been months.  You see, it can be very addicting and overwhelming and time consuming.  

However, I had to return.  I love being able to learn from committed, caring, courageous, curious educators from all over the world right from my laptop or phone. Constant professional development that fits my needs.

Picking and choosing articles to read.
Blog posts to think about and respond to.
Conversations to engage in.  

With a little bit of free time this weekend, (OK.  Late, really late Friday night and my hubby was out of town), I jumped into Twitterland, and this tweet caught my eye:

I didn't hesitate.  I clicked to watch - go ahead and take 5 minutes to watch this video of "Why I Stay" if you haven't seen it yet.

I watched it.  Twice.  It got me thinking.  (As with many other teachers who are also writing posts similar to this post.)

Turn on the TV.  Teacher evaluations.
Read the newspaper.  Mandated assessments.
Browse the web.  Pension reform.

The state of education and teaching is not feeling good these days.

And I'm worried. 

The statistics are frightening.  I have been in education for thirteen years.  I know I have many more hard working years of service in this field.  I could easily look at my future in education with worried eyes and my head hanging low.  But, I know I have so much more time to learn and share and make a difference.  

So, why do I stay?  I stay . . .

. . . for me, my own sanity and balance in my life.  I love being a mom and I love being a teacher.  Being a mom and being a teacher make up who I am.  I love learning and want to share that same excitement and enthusiasm with my daughters and my students.  I want to be the best me I can be at home and in the classroom.  That's why I stay.

. . . for the challenge.  Every day brings something new.  Remember, we are not just teachers.  Teachers orchestrate many roles every day for every student.

It doesn't matter to me if a student arrives with a "label" - I see a student wanting to connect and learn together.  Every student needs someone telling them "You can do it" even when it's challenging. That's why I stay.

. . . for the readers.  There are too many great books out there that need to be devoured, chewed slowly, and swallowed to digest.  I read to share books, titles, authors, and series to hook developing readers to show them that reading is delectable.  That's why I stay.

. . . for the smiles, the laughs, the high-fives.  There are multiple celebratory moments sprinkled throughout the day -- those "a-ha-light-bulb" moments of "I get this!" or a second grader coming into my classroom telling me "I'm a reader now!" or a fifth grade student telling me she just finished a book and what she's reading next.  That's why I stay.

. . . for the kids.  One look at them --

That's why I stay.

I'm so glad we are staying in this together because everyday #TeachersMatter.


  1. Excellent slice, Michelle. You stay because that's who you are! As I've mentioned before, I knew at the age of 6 that you would be a teacher and I am so proud of how you have grown throughout the years. Teachers are the lifeline of all of us. Thank you for being such a special person and teacher and Mom and daughter. Love ya, M

  2. Education is a better place because of teachers like you and those I the video. You stay because leaving your students is not an option. They deserve the best. I stayed for 32 years, now I'm back trying to ignite literacy passion in teachers.

  3. Michelle, It's so important for us to stand up and have our voices be heard. Thank you for sharing all your wonderful reasons for staying in teaching. Our profession is richer because of teachers like you.

  4. Yes, we stay for the kids. I love those light-bulb moments and all those moments when students share their excitement over what they read and write. I am so thankful Beth created and shared this video. I took time to think about why I stay, too, even though many days this past year it's been tempting to look elsewhere for work.

  5. I always love reading/seeing reflections of why people choose to teach and to continue to teach. It seems like such as good think to pause and reflect on this from time to time as well as being inspired by others. There's so many reasons to be an educator!

  6. Thanks Michelle. I vowed, if there ever was a day that I woke up and I didn't want to go to school, I'd just quit the next day. Well, here I am 36 years later. My reason...it just matters. However the changes...right now...they are so troublesome, doing lock down drills with pre-school to one minute timings that dictate programming....YIKES ! xo

  7. Michelle,
    Thank you for sharing this. I wrote a post after watching this video this week as well but I couldn't bring myself to publish it. I love teaching yet I have been questioning why I stay a lot lately especially as I am being moved again next year to a new building. Thank you for sharing the joys of the job. I have been trying to stay focused on them!


  8. I saw this video on Twitter and loved it too. I thought, "I can write about that!" and then promptly forgot about it until I saw your post. Thank you for reminding me, and thank you for staying.

  9. This is great - and so needed today. I need to repost that video and your blog post too.....thanks for this share....I feel inspired!

  10. Again your words inspire and speak volumes! It's all about the kids . . . that is our mantra and if we are lucky enough, we get to work with great colleagues/friends like you! ;-))


Thanks for sharing your thoughts.