There are times (especially when I get my paycheck) that I question "Why do I teach?" Why did I choose a job that follows me home, wakes me at night, and has me reviewing the day as I shower, dry my hair, and drive to work.
Each and every time I question my choice, I get to school and find the answer, in the "I Got It!" moments, the smiles, and my coworkers.
A few years ago in the middle of independent reading, I had one of my best moments. It was the first week of school and I was setting up the procedure of independent reading. When I do this I have all students reading at the same time (later in the year this changes), and as they are reading, I model by reading as well. One student was having difficulty staying focused and kept talking to his neighbor. I had corrected him once and on the second occurrence asked him to return to his seat.
He came up to me with something in his hand and held it out for me to take. I hesitated, not 100% sure what was being placed in my hand, but curiosity won over and I held my hand out for the "gift." Into my palm dropped a peppermint. The student smiled up at me and said, "Keep up the good work teaching, and there's more where that came from."
And that is why I teach.