I #LoveTeaching: My Students Are My Greatest Gifts

I count myself among the richest in the world. 

No, I don’t have a lot of money or an extravagant home, but I am a teacher. I know most people think teachers are good people because they’re willing to sacrifice and work so hard for a salary that is meager when compared to other professions with similar levels of education. I have to say that I love what I do — I #LoveTeaching. I would certainly appreciate making more money; perhaps enough so I wouldn’t need to supplement my income, but I didn’t go into teaching thinking I would one day be a wealthy woman — at least in the traditional sense of the word.

I became a teacher because my teachers inspired me. Some teachers even taught me a few hard lessons about what not to do, which I knew were for my own good. It was largely because of my teachers that I grew to love learning, and I wanted to become a teacher to instill my love of learning in others. I knew I could help children discover how they learn best and to learn to explore their interests.

I knew I could make a difference for children who didn’t have the support I was fortunate to have at home.

I knew I could be an advocate for students who needed someone in their corner.

I knew the more I gave, the more I would learn and, as a result, the more I would have to give to the next child who walked through my classroom door.

I am rich because I’m one person, giving all I can to my students every day. And, in return, they each give me all they can. The reality is, I get back so much more that I give. No matter what’s happening in the world, my students give me so much hope — hope for the future. And I’m certain that there’s more good in the world than bad, because regardless of their circumstances, every student I’ve ever encountered had more kindness in them than spite, and unique gifts and strengths to offer the world. Each student is a unique promise of a positive outcome.

I #LoveTeaching because my students are my greatest gifts.

I count myself among the richest in the world.

Marion Ivey is a kindergarten teacher in Oak Park, Illinois. She has been teaching since 1992, most of that time in kindergarten. Marion is a member of the Illinois Writing Project and the Collaboration for Early Childhood. She currently teaches full day kindergarten at Longfellow Elementary School and is a Teaching Channel Laureate. Connect with Marion on Twitter: @Mrs_Ivey_says.

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