take a look at teaching

Why teach? We asked our members to tell us why they entered the profession, why they still love teaching and what they would say to encourage new and future teachers. Here's a sampling.

take a look at teaching

Why Teach?

Dharini Adhvaryu always thought she’d become a researcher in botany, burying her head in her studies in the corner of a laboratory. But then she thought: "I could be one scientist... or I could be a teacher and raise hundreds."

take a look at teaching

Teachers Talk Teaching

Jessica Coles was on track to become a police detective when a college internship in a prison made her do an about-face. “I wanted to make a difference,” she said. “Before they got to prison.”

Teaching helps to change students' lives.

teacher in classroom

Why teach? For many educators the answer is simple. They want to make a difference. They want to influence lives. LEARN MORE.

Teachers say...

“Positivity. There is no better way to impact the future of this nation than to be a role model for kids. Think of your best teachers, coaches or other adults — other than your parents — who have helped make you who you are today. Be one of those people and pay it forward.” — Michael Struchen, Indian River Education Association

"The most rewarding career you could ever choose ... teaching is a profession that is conducted through your heart. Join your union, be part of your union, participate in your union. It is the most important thing you can do for your career.” —Jamy Brice-Hyde, Horseheads Teachers Association

"Every job is challenging! But being a teacher is a special challenge and every day helping the future generation learn more about a topic that you love is SO worth it!” — Tamara Edwards-Wilson, Westbury Teachers Association

"You know you’re doing it right when it doesn’t feel like work, like a job. It is a career, a vocation, a calling, and when it fits, you know it. And that is one of the best feelings you can have as a professional and an educator.” — Kurt Hassenpflug, North Colonie Teachers Association

"The desire needs to come from the heart. And when it does, you’ll have chosen a job you LOVE and never WORK a day in your life!” — Linda Yankowski, Hyde Park retiree

"There is no greater profession than teaching. As a child it provided me with so much and it still does today.” — Tom McMahon, Mahopac Teachers Association

"Teaching is a very rewarding job when you see how you are helping students learn and grow. There is never enough time in a day which makes the days fly by. I’ve worked desk jobs where you watch the clock all day long and wish it was time to go. Teaching is the opposite. You watch the clock and wish you had more time!” — Jen Fraser, South Jefferson Teachers Association

"WE NEED YOU! Teaching is second only to parenting in terms of sacrifice and reward.” — Rhea Ummi Modeste, United Federation of Teachers

"I would show them letters I have received from former students that show the rewards and I will tell them there is no better feeling in the world than helping a student reach their potential and face a challenge with success.” — Lori Atkinson Griffin, Copenhagen Teachers Association

"Our country needs you to keep democracy alive! We need dedicated people to help kids think critically, develop a strong work ethic and create vibrant communities where people can thrive. After 38 years in the classroom, I can honestly say teaching was my vocation, my passion and worth the efforts.” — Sue Haag, Union Springs Teachers Association

"The future of teaching will most likely involve more local choices and bring more opportunities for out-of-the- box teaching ideas.” — Brandon Lyon, Johnstown Faculty Association

"It takes at least five years to find a niche. Network with your peers and senior educators. Communicate clearly your goals for students and parents. Give your best unreservedly and continue despite setbacks.” — Rita Bhatt, United Federation of Teachers retiree

"Teaching is truly one of the most rewarding jobs out there and when you are allowed to do it, there isn’t a greater feeling in the world.” — Erika Bosworth, Deposit Teachers Association

"The students are why we do what we do, and helping them to succeed can be one of the most rewarding experiences that there is.” — John Cain, Copenhagen Teachers Association

"Talk with veteran teachers. When I run into former students and they talk about their successes and how I influenced their life, it makes it all worthwhile. The media and the ‘reformers’ can never take that away from me.” — Rebecca Pordum, Buffalo Federation of Teachers