Why do we teach?
There is no universal answer to this question. For some, it’s an unrelenting passion for their field. For others, it’s a desire to take part in the building of the next generation of great minds. Still, others may have a hard time putting into words the sense of pride and connection to the world they feel when working with young minds. For me, the answer has always been fairly simple: I can’t imagine loving anything else as much as I love teaching.
There are many reasons I love what I do, but one of the biggest is, frankly, it’s a lot of fun! Few professions allow you to earn your keep while having such a good time, and the days fly by so quickly when you’re teaching that when you glance at your clock, you’re not wishing the minute hands would move faster, you’re wishing you had more time! I’ve learned over the years that this feeling is contagious, too, and that the more fun teachers have in the classroom, the more enthusiastic and engaged the students are. Learning happens best when learning is fun!
Take summer, for example. When people learn that I’m a teacher, they often remark, “Must be nice having your summers off!” Teachers hear that all the time! But when I think of summer, I don’t think of lying back poolside watching the days slide by, escaping the tedium of the workplace. Instead, I think of summer camps, and of all the smiling faces I get to see all summer long as director of Lakehill’s Summer Camps. The secret, though, is that it’s not just the kids’ smiling faces that I’m thinking of; it’s the teachers, too!
As fun as it for the kids to do a crazy science experiment, stack Lego bridges with weights until they collapse, and perform in a play, it’s as much fun for the teachers helping them learn and grow. You see the happy kid moments captured on film on our SmugMug account week after week, but what you don’t see are the ear to ear grins, nor do you hear the laughter and cheer of the adults behind the camera. We’re definitely having as much fun as the kids!
So, while you’re escaping from the office, sunning on the beach this summer, if your thoughts happen to turn to me or the other summer camp teachers, shed no tears of pity for us. We’re having as much fun as you are! And, when your child comes home from camp at the end of the day full of stories and excitement to share, remember that we’re at home, too, sharing with our families the joys and adventures of the day.
By John Trout
Fourth Grade Teacher and Director of Summer Camps
Lakehill Preparatory School