Today is the first day back on campus and the first day of my classes. I am currently a sophomore in college double majoring in Elementary Education and Psychology and a minor in Special Education and Communication Disorders (I know, it’s a mouthful). Basically, I’m going to be going to school forever. My ultimate goal is to earn a Master’s Degree after 6 years of courses and teach second grade at a public school, which is required in order to teach. If you are unfamiliar with the level of education required to graduate, I must take courses in everything from Politics, Human Geography, Public Speaking, Science, Special Education, Art, History, and so on. You may be surprised at the requirements, I know I was. What possibly does a second grader need to know about politics? The list is endless with topics that as a teacher, I may never need. Receiving this degree is a lot of work, dedication, long essay papers, tons of observation hours and student teaching. Not to mention the state testing that you have to pass before junior year to student teach.
Now, with all this work known to me you must be wondering, why do I want to become a teacher? I’ve admittedly seen a lot of blog posts before explaining how despite the pay rate, becoming a teacher is the most rewarding career. And while I agree that it is definitely rewarding, my reasoning behind becoming a teacher is completely different.
I realized that I wanted to do something to do with children when I was a junior in high school after taking a Child Development course which I fell in love with. I loved learning the developmental ages and observing them in a classroom. I loved playing with the children and learning first hand with them. I absolutely fell in love with this class and the children in it. Growing up, I had always loved babies and younger kids. Mainly I realized my love for children when my nephews were born. It wasn’t until my senior year that I decided that teaching second grade was exactly what I was looking for in a career. I spent the year being a teacher’s aid in a second grade classroom which taught me more than I will ever know. It gave me so much experience in regards to learning how to handle a classroom full of very diverse students. If anything, these classes only made my dream of becoming a teacher more apparent.
Of course as the usual blog posts of being a teacher mention, I had a lot of people ask me why teaching? Teachers don’t make that much money. Don’t you want to have a job that will pay better? It’s tough to have the friends and family who supported you for you’re entire life question your choice in career. Not even my parents to this day quite understand the real reason behind my choice to become a teacher. They know that I always loved children and loved taking the classes on Child Development and love playing with my nephews and cousins. What they don’t know is that my choice came from my forth and fifth grade teachers.
Fourth grade was a very tough year for me. For whatever reason, the girls in my class chose not to like me. I was forced to eat lunch alone all year long. Since I was alone, I never actually ate my lunch. I didn’t eat, I didn’t play at recess, I didn’t really have any friends. I lost weight. I made multiple trips to the nurse each day just to get out of class. In my school, we have teachers who monitor the lunch rooms, but my teacher never reported my situation until the last month of fourth grade. When she finally did report it to my parents and the principle, she called me a loner. To this day, the word loner makes me infuriated. Here is an example of a teacher that I do not want to be like. Obviously, she was not the positive motivation behind wanting to become a teacher.
Growing up, I was always a quite child anyways. However, I believe that this year in particular had a profound effect on the the following years of my life, up until my senior year of high school. I was never involved with school events. I didn’t have more than four friends that I was close to. I didn’t enjoy working in groups with classmates. I preferred to just complete everything by myself and never depended on anyone else to do the work for me. I struggled with speaking in public and putting myself out there first. I believe that it was all caused from the year I spent alone. At this young age, a student should have been developing the stepping stones for good friendships. But me? I spent the following year with a special teacher during lunch trying to form friendships with students. My fifth grade teacher was unbelievably supportive and encouraging. She allowed me to grow as a person and as as student.
It is the result of having a bad result with a teacher that I once had. I want to be there for my students like my fifth grade teacher was for me. I want to be the teacher that my forth grade teacher wasn’t. My passion for my career choice however isn’t solely making up for this one event. My years of schooling were rough to say the least. I understand many students are going through rough times as I once was. I want to help them to overcome and grow developmentally from these times. I don’t want children to take the side line throughout their lives. I want to encourage them to try anything and everything they desire.
learn new things
make new friends
be a leader
don’t let anyone tell you you can’t
believe in yourself
try something new
As rewarding as a career teaching is, as a teacher, you’re main purpose is to encourage your students to achieve their goals. You help them set their goals and then you make sure that they are able to reach them. You support them in anything they do, since they may not have the support when they go home. You never know what a child may be going through when they aren’t at school. As a teacher, you have to make sure that the students are making progress in learning the material in the classroom, making friends and growing as a person.
I hope that someday I can be that type of teacher for my students.