I hope 20 years from now I can still get excited about being a part of kids’ lives. I am looking for suggestions on how to enjoy teaching for a long time. — J., Missouri
One of the best compliments I ever received was in my last year of teaching: “I walked past your classroom this morning and I just hope I have the same passion when it’s my time to retire!” I really don’t know how to address your question without talking about my approach to my career.
I always expected that some students in every class would pose difficulties and planned accordingly. Similarly, I could only expect a few students to actually be enthused about my course. This led me to focus on developing life-long learners, not scientists or engineers. I shared my passion for learning and tried to make learning fun to accomplish this. I dedicated myself to creating fun environments, being a bit zany, and always being passionate about what I taught, which incidentally made it fun for me.
I embraced change and kept current in my subjects and teaching approaches (life-long learning.) I also tried to distance myself from colleagues who were generally negative and frequently complained. Sure, we all have bad times and need to vent but to live in a negative funk all the time is not good for anyone.
And I had a lot of hobbies.
Hope this helps!