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The lightbulb goes onSomeone has figured it out

Their face reflects joy!

Kris Kimball Rosamond Elementary, 6th Grade

Gayle Dowdle Fort Herriman Middle School Science
I teach because I love helping students enjoy learning.I had science teachers who made science seem like a horrible chore that has to be done. This is so wrong!

Science is amazing and kids are born with a love of learning why things work the way they do. These kids need to see that life experience is enjoyable. That work is not a painful thing. That doing hard things are rewarding and that there is so much to enjoy.

I had such a horrible 8th grade year when I was a teenager that I feel it is my duty to help them be able to look back on 8th grade and remember it with positive feelings.

It is one of the hardest times developmentally and I want them to have positive memories of it.

I want my class to be fun, educational, and a place where they know they have someone on their side. That is why I teach, to help my students love life and see the awe in all the amazing things around them!

As Dr. Seuss said...

Now, I may not be a LORAX trying to save all the TRUFFALA TREES, but I sure love and care about my students just as much. I want to give each kid their best shot at life.

Growing up, I had teachers who loved me for the little weirdo that I was, and I strive to also love those unique qualities in my own students.

These kids are the reason why I love teaching and the reason why teaching is both the hardest and best thing I’ve ever done. This job sure comes with a lot of highs and lows, but these kids bring me joy by the dozens.

Cassandra Lee, 1st Grade, Terra Linda Elementary

There is nothing quite like getting to see the joy and triumph in a student who has finally conquered a daunting challenge or who’s creativity and curiosity is bursting. These kids have sure taught me more than I’ve taught them. Their love for life is truly infectious, and getting to be a part of that is why I love teaching.

I love teaching because I love the students I work with. I look forward to coming to work everyday.

I am so lucky, because not only do I get to teach amazing high school students, but I also get to spend 2 1/2 hours of my day with the preschool children. Those 4 and 5 year olds can always put a smile on my face.


Janae Dunn, Bingham High School FACS Educator , Mini Miner Preschool

I absolutely love watching them grow and develop, but more importantly,  I love watching the high school students grow and develop, as they plan their lessons and work with these 4 and 5 year olds every day throughout the year.

The high school students care so much about those preschoolers. I love watching the connections that they make with them. My job is definitely fulfilling!

I also love teaching my child development classes. I feel that everyone needs to understand how children grow and develop. We have a great time together throughout the semester.

I couldn't ask for a better job!


As I prepare to retire this year after 30 years of teaching, I have reflected a lot on what I 30 years about teaching. Topping the list, of course, is children. That is the reason I entered the field. I have always loved children. Life is so much more enjoyable and “real” when children are a part of it. I love learning with them and helping them to learn.

I love that in Elementary School we teach all of the subjects to children. I feel often that we “open the world” to them—the World of Reading and Writing, the World of Mathematics, the World of Science and Social Studies and History, the World of Arts and Music, etc.

I even love that we can help them solve problems such as social and study problems.


We can help them become more prepared to live in our world successfully. I had the special opportunity to teach Chinese for six years.

Janet Craven Oakcrest Elementary Chinese Immersion

I get chills when I think about what those students might do for our world.

I hope that with all the students I have taught that they have learned about many things and have loved learning. Mostly I hope that just perhaps I have taught them as much as I have learned from them over the years. They will forever be in my heart!

When my students come to my class, I may be the first smile they see each day, the first how was your evening, and the first I missed you while you were out.

My students come to class with the knowledge that they have a safe haven to learn and grow in. We laugh, we care and we cry together. We succeed and we fail together because that's what you do as a teacher.

Not only am I teaching my students, but they are also teaching me on a daily basis.

Jennica Bodenhofer 6th grade Columbia Elementary

These kids are the future and I am proud that I get to be a part of creating that.

Therefore, to answer the question, I love teaching because I am molding good, kind and smart kids into the type of citizens we hope to see in this world.

I love teaching because I am lucky enough to show my students that people care and want to see them excel in life.

Love is the tool with which I ply my trade.


Love: when I hear the word, I dive toward memories that brought me joy, strung together like so many glittering pearls: thank-yous and lightbulb moments, challenges that made way for achievements. But then I check myself because love isn't always pretty. Love is gritty.

I love the sand before it shimmers. I take each grain and work at it with hope, adding love layer by layer, trusting that it will one day be pried from the darkness to shine in the light, invaluable.

I see the shape of clay before it is sculpted and love it in its incompleteness. I love each gray rock to its inscrutable core, its iridescent future in my mind's eye, and tumble it to see it glimmer.

I gather what others may pass by, taking each abrasive grain, each wet mound of clay, each raw geode, and loving it into something more.

Love is not the gems with which I am paid, to string along my neck as tokens of my dedication, but the tool with which I ply my trade. What I love about teaching is that teaching is love, dirt and all.

Teaching is love, dirt and all. by Lindsay Blowers

Lindsay Blowers
Sunset Ridge Middle • Language Arts • 7th grade

I remember the first time I cried at school. I had a 2nd grade boy, who absolutely hated to read. You could put a single simple sentence out and watch him just melt, sinking lower and lower into the seat until my poor little snowman was a puddle on the desk.

It was the beginning of the new year and I had spent winter break devising strategies for my kid. I put a piece of paper in front of him with the longest (3 paragraphs, one page, no pictures) assignment I had ever given him.

The paper hadn’t been down on the desk for more than a couple heartbeats and he was already melting like an ice cube in the sun. I handed him a highlighter and covered up everything except the line we were using.

Together, we went through and found all of the sight words he had mastered (and added a few others he was able to sound out). When we were done, I pulled off the blinders and he stared at all of the yellows on the page.

Mandy Gomez
Special Education Teacher Grades: 4th - 6th
Columbia Elementary School
“I guess I can read this,” he commented.Then. He. DidWhen he was done, he looked at me with the most confident smile I had ever seen in my life.

I burst into tears. It had taken us months to get to this point and it was worth every second of it. Moments like this are exactly why we have the best job in the world.
Mrs. Sabrina Davitt
Columbia Elementary, 1st Grade Teacher

Mrs. Sabrina Davitt Columbia Elementary, 1st Grade Teacher

Teaching children is something I believe I was born to do.

Knowing that I am teaching the next generation gives me such joy. I feel in my element when I am in the classroom surrounded by my amazing classroom family.

Our future will be in their hands one day, but for now, their future is in my hands. What will I choose to do with that great responsibility?

This question is one that I ponder frequently. I have the opportunity to make a positive difference in a child’s life.  By doing this I can, in a way, make a positive difference in our future. 

Every day I greet each student at my door with a smile and a greeting of their choice. This is my opportunity to look each student in the eye before the day begins and check how they are doing. This is one of my favorite parts of the day. 

I believe every child matters and they should feel like they matter as well. I am so lucky to have this opportunity in my life to impact their lives, hopefully for the better.

Seeing a child light up with joy and excitement when they learn something new keeps me going through the ups and downs of teaching. 

Teaching can be very stressful, however, by just taking the time each day to stop and look for the good things that happen make it definitely worth it.

Knowing that I made a difference in a child’s life, even just the smallest difference, is very rewarding.  This difference could affect this child’s entire life for the better. Why wouldn’t I want to do that?

I know that being in an elementary classroom is where I am supposed to be. It is how I am supposed to make a difference in the world. One child at a time!

"In my world there are NO BAD KIDS, just impressionable, conflicted young people wrestling with EMOTIONS & IMPULSES, trying to communicate their FEELINGS & NEEDS the only way they know how" -Janet Lansbury 

Sharon Rinehart
Welby Elementary  • 6
th gradeI love to teach for two reasons. First of all, I love the "ah ha" moment. There is nothing more satisfying and exciting as when a student, who has been struggling, finally gets a concept. I can almost see the little lightbulb being turned on in their brains as they get it. I also love to teach because I love to learn. As a teacher I get to be continually learning. I also like to try to inspire the love of learning in my students. 
What I LOVE most about teaching is the connection you make with people. As a teacher, I am privileged to work alongside other teachers, staff, students, and parents on a daily basis.

I truly LOVE learning about my students, as little human beings, while I teach them all day.  We laugh, have fun, cheer each other on, and comfort each other. All those moments, compiled together, create a unique bond that helps kids, and their teacher, feel loved.  

I also LOVE the school community at Butterfield Canyon.  My coworkers are not just my colleagues, they are my mentors, my friends and my family. We help and encourage each other daily, and do “life” together!

Kristy Hernandez 1st Grade Teacher Butterfield Canyon Elementary

The parents of my students are not just parents. They become partners in advocating for their child’s well-being and educational success. Sometimes, they’ll sit next to me at my son’s ball game or my daughter’s dance competition and cheer them on too, even though their own child is on the opposing team.

And if you are lucky like me, a parent of one of your students, becomes a best friend because you’ve worked so closely with them all year long to ensure their child’s wellness and progress during a difficult season.    

I LOVE my job and the opportunity it allows me to form lasting relationships and connect with people!  I will admit, wholeheartedly, that some days are hard and I cry, but it’s all worth it in the end!

I have the best career in the world! I get to solve riddles and puzzles all day long!

I am given pieces of many different puzzles at the beginning of each year. Daily, I get to figure out clues in order to know where each piece should go and how many to add in order to complete them.

If I am successful, I get the results of well-adjusted, happy, and successful leaders. I am challenged every day because no two puzzles are the same.

There is absolutely no greater joy in the world than solving a tough problem and I get to have that feeling every day.

Natalie Newbold
Terra Linda Elementary
3rd Grade

I get to see the light in my students’ eyes. I get to be taught alongside my students.

I get to see future brain surgeons, lawyers, politicians and many other careers that have yet to be invented, sitting in those seats.

I have the privilege of leaving each night knowing that I have played a role in their future successes.

That is why I am passionate and truly love to teach.

More than 50 years ago, a little girl lined up her ragtag group of dolls and began, “Now class, today we will…”


Her parents understood her seemingly innate desire to teach and provided her with a small table and two blue metal folding chairs, in the same scale. Her older brother had made her a large bulletin board of cork and trimmed the edges with oak wood. It was mounted on the wall of their basement in her special spot that had become her classroom.

On the bulletin board were assignments and pictures made by her “class,” and only the best papers got shiny gold stickers (the kind you had to lick). Sometimes the neighbor kids played school with her, but she always insisted on being the teacher. She knew the other kids just wouldn’t do it right. And yes, eventually that little girl did grow up to be a teacher.

When I think about why I am a teacher, my thoughts go back to when I was that little girl playing school in the basement. Back then, if you would have asked me why I wanted to be a teacher, I probably would have replied, “Because it’s fun.” Yes, then it was all fun and games, and now it is still fun, but also a lot of hard work. And now, I have many more reasons for why I want to be a teacher.

Lorene Fullmer
Second Grade
Copper Canyon Elementary

I am a teacher because I can’t imagine being anything else. Like many other teachers, I feel “called” to this profession. It isn’t just a job to me, but something that I was meant to do. I’m a teacher because I feel like I make a difference in the world.

As a teacher of young children, I know that when I teach them to read, I’m giving them a skill they will use for their entire life. When a student has a troubled home life, I may be one of the only people they can consistently count on to be there for them. I am a teacher because I love children and I love seeing the struggle that eventually turns into accomplishment.

I love seeing them learn and grow, inside and out, during the school year. I love that I also learn new things every day. I learn from the children as much as they learn from me. I am a teacher because teaching is one of the most creative jobs you can have. If you like to craft, write, draw, sing or invent, it’s all there in a teacher’s day.

We are continually trying to do better and thinking of ways to make lessons more interesting and more memorable. However, even though something is right, it doesn’t mean it is easy.

Being a teacher is hard, and there are some days I wonder why I am doing this. Then a student gives me a hug and says, “I love you. You’re the best teacher ever.” And I know that I made a difference in at least one child’s day, just as they did in mine. Tomorrow is always another day and a new beginning.

Sometimes in my mind, I visit the little girl playing school in the basement, and I wish that I could tell her that someday all her dreams would come true.
Lori Nickerson


It’s the first day of school! Our state superintendent, Syd Dickson, has invited teachers in our state to participate in the #FirstDayofSchool Twitter and Facebook movement. She would like to see how many Utah teachers we can involve in this campaign. You can participate by posting a selfie with the downloadable sign from Concordia University’s website:

We hope to see your beautiful selfies with your sign to honor your years as a teacher! Have a great first day and a wonderful year!

The JSD Mentor Team! Our first day was August 1. #FirstDayofSchool

Suggested Twitter tags: #FirstDayofSchool,, #UTED, @DicksonSyd

Thank you to teachers who submitted an essay for the Why I Teach Contest.

Why I Teach
by Jamie Watkins

  • I teach because I want to strengthen the minds of our youth.
  • I teach because I want to help shape the children for their future.
  • I teach because I love the children.
  • I teach because love to see the learning.
  • I teach because that is my purpose

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Why I teach
by Nathan McCleery

  • I teach because I love learning.
  • Learning is what gets me charged up and helping others learn is the next best thing.
  • I love the moment when something new blows my mind or shifts my consciousness.
  • I try to create those moments for my students and to celebrate the learning they are doing.
  • I would be thrilled to give them that same love of learning in their life.
Why I Teach
by Natalie Nielsen..

I teach because I love seeing the creativity within students.I love watching them take a prompt and give it life, whether in movement or on paper.

I love watching students take ownership of a project and seeing how proud they are when they get to share that project with others.

And, I love that teaching keeps me young, since my students 'have my back' when it comes to music and style-ha ha 🙂

 why I teach

Why I Teach
by Emma Cisneros

I am a teacher because I know I have a great impact on who my students become. I know that some of my students have rough home lives where they don't get the love and support they need. They are in desperate need of someone who will love them, care about them, listen to them, push them, and yes-- even discipline them.

There are some days where I might be the only person that holds that student accountable, that talks to them about their behavior, that challenges them to become better. I can be that person for them- through my example, and through the discussions I have with them. I can help them see how important it is to be kind, to have ambition, to persevere, to be honest, and to pick themselves up and try again.
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Why I Teach
by Jacquelynn Fabiszak

Last week was a good week. It boosted my mentality about teaching as I was handed letter after letter. Letters that students had written just for me.

They expressed how much they loved my class and how much they loved me as a teacher."This is it," I thought, "this is what I do it for." To be loved and adored? No, but to create a place where learning can happen because a student feels welcomed, respected, special and loved.

I love these students, they love me back and in return we learn things together. They inspire me, make me chuckle, show me kindness and most importantly remind me why it's all worth it!   Full text


Why I teach

Why I Teach

Why I Teach
by Rebecca Stone

Friends are the spice in life. They are there for you when you need them, and they are there for you when you don’t even know you need them. This is why I started to teach.

My friend told me about an open position that I 100% qualified for. She knew my background with kids and coaching, and knew it was the right fit. She also knew it was the right time in my life for a change.

Why do I still teach, 18 months after starting this? The students! I’m so blessed to teach a subject the students WANT to learn.

My goals are to have fun with them every day, to add a bright spot in their otherwise “normal” day. We have the flexibility with our vast curriculum to do this; we get to play with goniometers, theraband, and wrap up fake injuries.  Full text


Why I Teach
by Kristy Hernandez

  • So, why do I teach?  That’s easy... I teach because someone once taught me.
  • I teach because I have been chosen as one of the lucky ones to make a difference in the lives of children.I teach to help, encourage, and inspire other teachers.
  • I teach because it is fun and it makes me happy!
  • I teach because the long hours and sleepless nights are worth it when one student draws me a picture, writes me a note, gives me a hug, or brings me a souvenir from their vacation.

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Why I teach

Why I Teach Why I Teach
by Jodi WhiteI teach for a variety of reasons,
Like watching the children learn through all the seasons!

I work with an amazing, caring, dedicated team,
Who never seem to run out of steam!

The hallways are filled with laughter and fun,
Especially when winter snow days are finally done!

The office staff fills many a role,
They always take time to mend any hole.

The parents and PTA give us a helping hand,
Without their support we couldn’t stand.

There are days when being a teacher can be hard,
But the benefits out weigh those days by far.

I teach because each day is different, challenging, and new,
I love watching the children love learning like I do!

Teaching children is a calling from above,
It has made my life meaningful- and filled with love!


owl holding heart Teachers online share the joys of teaching. It is those small moments with students that give us JOY!

“I teach because if I make the difference in the life of one little boy or girl, I have made an impact on the world.”

“I teach because when I teach I learn…and I LOVE to LEARN.”

“Each day I not only live, but I love, laugh, and learn. This is why I teach.”

"As a teacher I can relate to the Love and Joy of teaching students!"

Contest Rules:

  • Write a paragraph about why you teach.
  • Share the Joy and Love of teaching students!
  • Include your name, school and grade level.
  • Email your entry to:
  • Contest ends March 1, 2017
  • Winners’ paragraphs will be posted with permission on the Mentor teacher website.
  • Prizes will be presented to the Winners