The promise of a new school year beckons—and with it, all the possibilities and opportunities for joy.
The teaching profession faces many challenges these days. One of the main ones is the loss of joy in teaching, wrote Domonique Dickson, a 4th grade English/language arts teacher in Maryland, in an EdWeek opinion essay last year. To rediscover that joy, she urged educators to remember their “why,” get creative, and focus on the small moments of positivity during the school day.
“Last school year was challenging, but with some intentionality, this new school year can be filled with joy,” Dickson wrote. “Rediscover your joy in teaching because each student coming into your class deserves to experience the joyful you.”
To honor that joy, Education Week asked teachers on Facebook to share their favorite parts of their jobs. Here’s what they had to say:
The joy of imparting knowledge
“Reading books with and to my students. Sharing the same stories even though I’ve read them so many times. Watching their excitement and wonder grow as we get into the story. Then asking for just one more chapter or looking forward to the next day because they want to read the next part. ❤️"
— Judie C.
“The ‘I got this!’ on a student’s face.”
“Working with the kids and having them experience things they never thought were possible.”
“The thrill of the chase, when you construct learning experiences, or sometimes let them evolve naturally, where learners rise to the expectation and beyond.”
“I was attempting to teach my Grade 3’s Division. I tried a number of approaches with no success until one sweetheart called out, ‘Oh I get it!’ The students all gathered around her as she showed them. I just stood at the front thinking that this is what teaching is all about. I loved all of my students but at that moment I truly loved teaching.”
— Allen S.
“The moment when I KNOW I’ve got them; making that connection changes EVERYTHING!”
The (informal) perks
“Teaching kids keeps me young. 😎"
— Linda N.
“I learn something new every day.”
“The summer 😆"
— Molly D.
The No. 1 answer: the kids
“Student relationships. I just love my students, man.”
— Craig J.