You become a teacher with grand plans. Grand plans of creating lessons that would make angels weep with joy. You get really good at writing such lesson plans in college! You imagine classrooms where students get whole brain learning in the first day and routines are never broken. Students sit in the class, 100% engaged, and then go and do the work their asked to do with no problems.
So what do you do when a student raises their hand and says "I don't get it!" And you ask them what they don't get and they say they don't know and you ask if they read the assignment and they said yes and so you go over and read it with them and then they suddenly get it.
So what do you do when one student will blatantly deny you in every step. You ask them to pick up their pencil and put it on the paper and they set the pencil on the paper and then laugh in your face.
So what do you do when you ask a student to write "My eyes are brown" and they scribble instead of write and you tell them to try again and they roll their eyes and try again.
So what do you do when you realize that no matter how many times you rephrase something, you, for some reason, just do not have what it takes to take this particular concept to students. Like dividing something in halves. It seems so easy to you but it's something brand new to the children.
So what do you do when there's one of you and you don't have enough arms, eyes, or voices to make sure everyone is on task and understands. It's like one of those tupperware lids where you push down on one side and it pops up on the other and this goes on and on.
So what do you do when you sit down at the end of the day and your back hurts and your voice is gone and your brain is drained and your feet hurt and you feel like crying because all of those angel lesson plans did not go as you imagined they would.
You lose your ideals. You lose your dreams for a bit. But a teacher is a person who can fall asleep and wake up the next morning and say "That was hard, but I'm trying again today and gosh darn it, So-and-so is not going to write all over his desk today, that is NOT going to happen, and today's lessons might not be any better but someone is going to get it and eventually they all will get it." The day you don't wake up and think that is the day you're not a teacher but you have a chance the next morning to be a teacher again. That's what a teacher does.
At least, that's what I've learned so far.