What I Like Best About Being a Teacher

A student recently asked me what my favourite things were about my job and what were the worst.  Great question! I can certainly say there are way more positives than negatives and after reflecting on the question, this is what I came up with:

Bests

1. Convocation is the best moment.  After four long years, the stage walk, although brief is a part of a long history of tradition and pageantry that actually provides closure.  There may even be some high fives as students walk past the faculty members perched on stage.

2. The first days of school.  The cheering of the frosh as they march across campus is the best sounds I hear from my office window.  I love the excitement that comes from students about to begin their University career.

3. Office hours.  Most of the times, students just want to talk about life and not always just about class.  It’s fun to get to know students in a one-on-one, about where they are from and why they joined the program and what they want to do when they are finished.

4. Lectures. After hours of preparing, finally getting to teach content in an interesting way can be a lot of fun.  Especially when the students get involved and the classroom starts to buzz.

5. I love our campus.  I fell in love with it in high school on my first visit. Walking into work every day feels kind of special.  I work in a beautiful place.

6. Getting paid to learn.  There are many topics I am asked to teach that I am not an expert on. Spending the summer in the library, pouring over textbooks in preparation makes me happy.

7. Getting visits from previous graduates updating me on what they are doing now.

8. Seeing the moment when a student understands what we were trying to teach them.

Worsts

1. Catching cheaters and then proceeding with academic penalties.  I really find it nauseating and it makes me sad when students don’t listen to the warnings of what happens when (not if) they are caught.

2. Writing exam questions. It is stressful to write exam questions. Trying to find the balance of fair and thorough is not an easy feat.  On the day of an exam, I think I may be more nervous, hoping that I got the exam done right.

3. Posting marks.  It doesn’t matter how satisified I am about an examination being fair.  There are always a ton of emails that flood in after any mark is posted.

 

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