This is what teachers work for: knowing they made a difference in the lives of students.
Have you thanked a teacher lately?
I have every single note that a parent has sent me over the years and every card that my students, once old enough to actually write (i teach pre-) has sent me years later. I have my entire fridge covered in notes and some of my kitchen cabinets as well, along with class pictures from every year I have been in my current school.
I have one family who send me pictures of the four of their children who have passed through my class. I have one more coming next year.
No amount of money can give me the feeling that those cards and pictures and notes give me.
When my students come back to my room and tell my current pre-k children what they did when they were in my class and how important it is to listen and pay attention, I want to cry.
The people who think that carrots and sticks are the answer don’t understand that some people have callings and others just get a job.