Why do I teach? A glimpse into teacher motivation


  • Abigail Grover Snook
  • Asta B. Schram




In our study we wanted to explore responses to teaching motivation statements by sessional and tenured faculty across a health science school. Educators (n = 235) evaluated six “I teach because” statements and an optional open-ended question (n = 46). Impacting students in the next generation, believing their content was important, enjoyment, and teaching as a duty were highly rated motivations on the part of both sessional and tenured faculty. Sessional faculty were more likely to be motivated by former teachers and beliefs that teaching helps them keep current with knowledge than tenured faculty, although the differences were not significant. The open-ended question provided the additional aspect of being pressured to teach, especially on the part of sessional faculty. Examining differences and similarities regarding teaching motivation statements can help guide future-ready faculty development for all types of teachers.