Many years ago my student asked me the question, "Mrs. Kindred, why do you teach?" Without taking time to reflect, I answered, "Because someday I might say something that might make a difference in someone's life." Even though I was sincere, that wasn't a very good answer and my student didn't let it slide.
"Let me get this straight," he said, "You went to college for four years so you could come here every day because you have the hope that someday you might say something that will influence someone?" He shook his head as if I were crazy and walked away looking confused. I'm one of those people who look back and wish they had said something smart or witty, or swift.
Even though that particular student might no longer wonder why I teach, there are days when I wonder. On those days, I remind myself of the real reasons I teach: