Jerry Laffey’s June 14 letter, “Is higher teacher pay the answer?,” brought back memories of my first year of teaching high school in suburban New Jersey.

Since I never took any courses in education and, indeed, never had an inclination to teach, I expected to transition from volunteering for a year in Appalachia with the VISTA program to a real job after a year of teaching. But I found teaching a joy, not a job. I used to forget to collect my paycheck on Fridays. I used to wish for weekends to fly by so I could get back in the classroom on Monday mornings.

Good teachers know that politicians and parents can’t put a price on what transpires in the classroom — seeing students’ personal and academic growth, and our own lifelong learning. Give me students and a good book, and let the sparks fly.

I’ve been tutoring for the past six years after 38 years in the classroom. I’m still finding joy in my students.

Richard L. McCloud, Reston