The Joy of Teaching: The Gifts that can Last a Lifetime

Teacher gift ideas. Joy

It’s the time of year for buying my daughter’s teacher a Christmas gift.

“What does Mr C like?” I ask.

“Good children.” comes the earnest reply.

These are out of stock.  But it did start me thinking that between the boxes of quality street and “World’s best teacher” mugs our students will have given us a range of gifts over the year so far. This is fortunate because I have a small class and a number of support staff so we have to share the three boxes of chocolates and one pair of socks.

The joy of Teaching Quote

I am referring only to those gifts that can last a lifetime and impact us and our practice for years to come. Those intangible moments fuel us all the way to the end of term year after year. The gifts, whilst free are earned with time and passion for the job:

Acceptance, now I may be lucky but my students accept me as I am, if I wear odd socks or forget to flatten my hair in the morning they will judge me. When I worked in mainstream once the initial rapport had been made they would accept my bumbling new teacher foibles and generally go with it.

Belief, forgive me for saying rapport again, but once student-teacher trust has been built those students genuinely believe that you, not only have their best interests at heart but are also capable of guiding them on the learning journey. To be believed in is a fantastic feeling.

The Joy of Teaching

Creativity, well the opportunity to show your creative side at least. Now I know this doesn’t always work (but i like to keep my blog as positive as possible) but think of those lessons you have crafted to engage, excite and interest your students. How many jobs offer you the chance to use your imagination so effectively?

Development, who else except our own children push us to constantly develop our skills and interests, to get better and better at what we do?

Excitement, the students often bring a sense of excitement to lessons, to school, to the playground. If you work solely in an adult-led industry this is often somewhat lacking. How great is it that each new day holds the possibility of something new, something to be learnt or experienced for the first time?

As challenging as teaching can be it is often rightly described as rewarding. I have only put 5 examples above. Feel free to continue the alphabet in comments or tweet me!

Happy Child at School Smiling.

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  1. Lovely post. Working with young children is an amazing experience. I agree with you that the benefits can not be achieved in any other profession. I especially love the opportunity to be creative. I’ll accept your invitation to continue your list.
    Fun: Where else can you have so much fun? Laughter and play was always a very important part of my early childhood classrooms.
    Growth: It is an enormous privilege to be able to share in children’s learning journeys. Watching them grow in confidence, in risk taking and in social skills for starters is amazing.
    Heart: Children call it a loveheart and use it to explain what they love more than anything else. I loveheart teaching. I loveheart receiving notes from students that say I loveheart school, I loveheart reading, I loveheart you. 🙂
    Inspiration: It is an inspiration to work with young children, to feed off their enthusiasm for learning and their curiosity about everything. Mine was amputated as a child. My children and the children I have worked with have reawakened it. Without them my life would be tired and grey.
    Justice: Children have a wonderful sense of justice. “That’s not fair” they will quickly tell you if you have made an error of judgement, but they are always willing to forgive if you are prepared to explain your position.
    Okay, that’s five from me too. I hope they are worthy contributions to your alphabet of amazing things about teaching, but I must admit, it’s difficult to stop here.

    1. Fantastic thank you so much for contributing. I was going to put laughter in, very important and a great motivator for me when working with young people

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