Wednesday, May 4, 2016

I keep teaching because...

There's no doubt about it. Teaching can be one of the most demanding, exhausting, and thankless professions to puruse. Long hours, grumpy parents, excessive testing, and mountains of paperwork and non-instructional duties can take their toll because they get between us and what we truly love- teaching our kiddos!

My 6th grade intermediate ELL class on the last day of my 2nd year teaching!

But those ah-hah moments when a kid's eyes light up because they finally get it or they finally did it- that's what makes it all worth it. Or maybe it's that moment when a student tells you that they love your class, that your class is the best. Sometimes, it's the moment when a student tells you about a great life lesson you didn't even know you were teaching.

For me, one of those moments was with the group of students pictured above. At the beginning of the year, when I told them that most of what we would do throughout the year would center around novels we read together in class, and that by the end of the year, we'd read 5 or 6 books together, the groans echoed off the walls and the children deflated so visibly I thought they'd slide out of their seats.

One boy in particular (on the far right) told me he would hate my class then because he hated reading. The students really enjoyed our first book, Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes. I was amazed at how they connected and empathized with Sadako and her family. Then, we moved on to Bunnicula. The students loved it, and when I added the rest of the books in the trilogy to our classroom library, they nearly fought over who got them first. Instead of, "what book do we have to read next?" It was, "What book do we get to read next?" Throughout the year we also read The Best Christmas Pageant Ever and Seedfolks.

That boy, my most reluctant reader, came to my room one day at the very end of the year, as I was packing up. He was quiet for a few minutes while helping me pack some books, but then he said, "Mrs. J? Do you remember when I told you I hated reading and I'd hate your class?" I told him that I did and asked what was on his mind. "Well, Mrs. J., the thing is, I was wrong. Your class is the best class I've ever been in, and you showed me that I actually do like to read, because it is fun." This is why I do what I do!

So, today is Giveaway #2 day!

Giveaway #2: Wednesday, May 4
First Prize: $10 TpT Gift Card
Second prize: Any Close Reading and Writing Activity from my store valued up to $6
How to enter: Comment on this post by midnight tonight and complete the phrase "I keep teaching because..." to tell us what gets you up every morning, sustains you through the year, and brings you back to do it all over again every August. Each comment will be assigned a number (in order of posting), and I'll use a random number generator to choose a first and second prize winner. 
Notification: I'll reply to the winner's comment and add the winner to the bottom of this post as well! You must email me within 24 hours to claim your prize or it will go to someone else!

UPDATE: Giveaway #2 Winners!
1st Prize- Alexa
2nd Prize- No other entires

Please email me at within 24 hours to claim your prize!


  1. Hi,

    This is a great prompt. :) I keep teaching because I absolutely love to be creative. I enjoy teaching even MORE when my students share the same zest to be creative and it showcases itself in many forms. Thank you. :)

    1. Hi Alexa! You are the only person to comment, so by default, you win the $10 TpT Gift Card! Please contact me at to claim your prize!