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Why do I teach? Inspirations after 2023 Calgary Teacher's Conference

Updated: Mar 2, 2023

As the great educator, William Butler Yeats, once said, "Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire."

We all know and heard that teaching is a noble profession that requires dedication, commitment, and a passion for learning. We all became teachers for a bit of that experience (among other things, but never money lol). As a teacher, the role of an educator is to inspire, empower, and guide learners (I use learners because I am teaching kids and adults alike) on their journey toward personal success. After presenting a Workshop (Scratch and MakeyMakey – Basic Education Tips) at the 2023 Calgary Teachers Conference, I got inspired to write this post. I will discuss the three reasons why I teach and why I believe teaching is an awesome profession.

To Share What I Learn While Making Other Teachers Lives Easier

One of the reasons why I teach is to share what I have learned with others. I have spent most of my 38 years being curious and exploring many things, from technology to biology and let me tell you one thing – I always get baffled by how people value my curiosities and discoveries. And when I deliver these with passion and excitement, people tend to like them even more. This makes me think… Teaching is not just about imparting knowledge, but it is also about your own history, your passion, the path you took to learn something and what you have learned. When I teach, I am able to share my experiences and insights on these experiences, and help other learners overcome the challenges they face in their lives, not only in a classroom. That was very clear to me during the teacher's conference. Scratch and MakeyMakey are my bread and butter at Next Gen EduCare. But my experience and delivery made the lecture experience unique to the 27 attendees there. I inspired them to go the extra mile and they inspire me by showing that my experience matters. Isn’t that wonderful?

To Challenge Myself While Teaching Things I've Mastered to Lay People

Another reason why I teach is to challenge myself. When I teach, I am forced to think deeply about the subject, to think about how I’ll deliver it, what topics I should focus on more, and how I will react depending on how my crowd reacts. That always makes me come up with new and innovative ways of presenting the material to my learners. This Teachers' conference was no different. I prepared my lecture 2 months in advance, and I tweak it at least 5 times (pretty much like my 8 years of teaching where my PowerPoints and deliveries often changed before, during and after a class). This constant evolution not only keeps me engaged and interested in what I am teaching, but it also allows me to refine my own understanding of the material based on who I’ll have to teach to. If you are reading this and never understood why teachers are so busy (besides all the admin that comes with the profession), this is one of the reasons why teachers are constantly busy (re-inventing oneself is never easy).

To Give Other Teachers a Starting Point on Learning Something New

Finally, I teach to give other learners a starting point for learning something new. As educators, it is our responsibility to continuously learn and grow and to model this behaviour for our students. But let us be honest here… when do we have the time or energy to do so? Life happens when we work and we spent hours and hours of our years working and sleeping and one day we wake up and we never travel to Asia or visited those cousins that live across the country. Thus, we need to use our time wisely and selecting what to learn in this world full of knowledge is a challenge in itself. Thus I have this duty to ensure that, every time I teach, I’ll give my learners a tool they didn’t know about and will definitely use. That way, I do not waste their time (and I do not get bad reviews on my website lol). By teaching new concepts and skills, I am able to provide learners with a foundation for their own learning and professional development. By sharing my own passion for learning, I hope to inspire other educators to do the same.

In conclusion, teaching is an awesome profession that offers endless opportunities for growth and fulfillment. As an educator, I am able to share my knowledge, challenge myself, and inspire others to learn and grow. I am constantly reminded of the impact that I can have on my learners' lives and, after almost 4 years of not teaching for adults, teaching at the 2023 Calgary Teacher’s Conference reminded me that I still have that power and how I missed sharing it with others. This is what makes teaching such a rewarding and meaningful career.

Nik Zetouni

Next Gen's CEO

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