As a kid, I was never certain what I wanted to be when I grew up. I had periods of wanting to be every profession possible. In a matter of 10 years, I threw out every idea from lawyer, to scientist, to teacher, to politician, to psychologist, to mathematician, and more. Finally, I landed on the profession that I am currently pursuing: teaching.
I finally decided on teaching, specifically on becoming a middle or high school math teacher. Teaching seemed to combine all of my passions. I wanted a job that incorporated science or math since they’ve always been my favorite subjects, and because I’ve always been good at them. My mom had always told me that I was too good at math to not do something with it. Although she wanted me to become an actuary, I knew this wasn’t the job for me.
I needed a career that would incorporate working with people. This is why I was contemplating studying psychology, becoming a guidance counselor, or becoming a speech pathologist before I picked teaching. My whole life, I have always loved to work with people, especially kids, and helping others. It has always been important for me to make a difference in people’s lives.
Thinking of teaching math was a lightbulb moment, as if everything had finally clicked, and that was exactly where I wanted to end up. It was the perfect combination of working with math, working with kids, and helping others.
Teaching is so much more to me than giving kids an education- it’s also about giving every student support and an opportunity to succeed in anything they put their minds to. I had a lot of inspirational teachers as a student that I looked up to. I hope I can be half the teachers they were, and inspire my students in the same way they did for me.
You might say: well, how do you know you’ll really love teaching if you’ve never had experience in a classroom? I actually did have the chance to practice teaching, and that was the icing on the cake. Teaching already seemed perfect for me, and once I got in front of a classroom, I was sold. That was when I knew this was the only thing I wanted to do with my life.
In high school, I went into full-fledged teaching and took 3 classes that let me teach in my district’s middle and elementary schools. I taught sign language to 5th graders for my sign language class, and a curriculum on making safe choices to 6th graders for a class called “Teens as Teachers.”
By far, the best experience was teaching for my Child Development 2 class. For this class I actually got to be a student teacher in an 8th grade math class. This was when I really knew I wanted to do this for the rest of my life. Standing in front of my students felt so natural, and it felt so comfortable. I have never felt as comfortable as I did teaching math. I also loved the connections I was able to make with the students.
Ever since then, I have wanted nothing more than to be a teacher. I am in a program now that is a 4+1 undergraduate and graduate program. My fifth year will be my graduate year where I get to student teach. I cannot wait until I can be back in a classroom teaching students and making an impact on their lives. After I graduate, I will have my full teaching degree and will be able to start looking for jobs, and hopefully, finally get a classroom of my own.