Why I Teach

I teach because of a relentless hope that tomorrow is going to be better. Students come into fifth grade with this nervous energy and curiosity, and my challenge is to convert that into confidence, joy, and belonging. Teaching just makes my soul happy. 

My hero was my seventh grade ELA teacher, Nancy Duncan. She was truly a mad scientist in the classroom! Her imagination and presence were so over-the-top every single day. We’d be learning about the Holocaust and she would string up barbed wire in the classroom. Her methods made history come to life, those doomed heroes and their battles of old. The bell would ring and we’d be equally disappointed it was over and in shock wondering, “How do we go about our day after that?” Now, I want my students to have that same immersive, “lost-in-the-moment” feeling. I want them to study history and think, man, we could have been those heroes; because tomorrow may need them to be!

-Nick Starkey, 5th Grade