Top ten coolest things about teaching high school chemistry:
10) You get to amass a collection of chemicals that would otherwise be impossible.
9) You get to "play" with the chemicals (designing labs and demonstrations, of course). My favorite is making a white phosphorus mini-flamethrower from a book of matches and a glass pipette.
8) And in the words of Kvothe, the main character in Patrick Rothfuss' awesome new Kingkiller Chronicle, "There is something primal in chemistry, something that defies explication. Either you feel it or you don't."
7) You get paid for learning about cool things like quantum mechanics and for coming up with cool ways to explain things like quantum mechanics.
6) You get paid to come up with cool ways to demonstrate cool things like quantum mechanics.
5) You get to be a motivational speaker, trying to inspire young people to get started on their dreams now.
4) You get to be a designer, constantly trying to create new and more effective learning systems and activities.
3) You get to be a hacker, trying to hack education and the human mind.
2) You get to work with others trying to do the same thing.
1) You get to work with teenagers. Simply put, if humans are amazing, teens are 10X so. They're like little fire coals bursting with unpredictable energy, imagination, excitement and potential to set the world ablaze. It really is a privilege to be a part of their lives.