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Why I #LoveTeaching

submitted by Brian Payne, GA

Teaching is by far one of the noblest professions. Actually, at one time in our history, having the Teacher title was revered. There was a sense of respect and honor associated with the title, and being a teacher still warrants a level of respect. It was this type of recognition, honor, and respect that intrigued me while I was a student. I reveled in their ability to capture attention, generate intrigue, and change minds - and hearts - for the better. It was a teacher who encouraged me to become a better version of myself.


His name is Mr. Watson. Mr. Watson was my high school Black history teacher. His enthusiasm for Black history was captivating. From memory, he would easily quote dates, facts, and mention the names of Black men and women who were completely unknown to me. Little did I realize, Mr. Watson was planting seeds. He not only encouraged me to be excited about history, he helped me to appreciate my deeper purpose.


Since high school, I have been on a quest to change lives, to have some type of impact on boys and girls who share the color of my skin, and help people appreciate Black history beyond the Emancipation Proclamation. Thankfully, I have been in the right places at the right times.


Time has allowed me to remain motivated to teach. There are always times when I am fascinated by a new idea or one new concept that has the ability to move a child with a lackadaisical spirit for learning to a spirit that craves knowledge. To witness a child really learning, and not being forced to memorize, has to be one of the most fulfilling moments for a teacher. This is my inspiration to keep fighting and advocating for an education that’s transformative.


My love for teaching continues to be rooted in that day Mr. Watson captured my attention. The passion, the zeal, and the love he shared with me was without a doubt, his love for teaching. He saw a young Black boy who desperately wanted to make his mark in the world. He saw a young Black boy who needed a reminder that he had potential. I left his presence that day knowing my worth - and each and every day of my high school experience, I was glowing with pride.


Teaching has made me whole. The exuberance I feel when standing among children seeking that same feeling I felt so long ago is immeasurable. That’s my love. That’s my opportunity to help create another me, a teacher. That is why I Love Teaching!

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