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A Letter to Future Educators

Dear Fellow Education Majors, 

No matter why or how you started our journey into the brutal world of education, you’re all here in the same place. You stay up until one in the morning perfecting lesson plans and making sure our objectives are clear and precise. You lay in bed listing the materials you may need for your co-teaching lessons. You plot out the bulletin boards and desk layouts of your future classrooms. But most importantly, you fantasize about having a positive impact on all of your students. You could have picked a career path with better pay and much less heartache, but you could not imagine sacrificing your passions for a life full of dollar signs and emotional ease. 

College provides the opportunity for people to become anything they could dream of. Doctors, accountants, authors, and CEOs will walk down the aisle with you at graduation. That could have easily been you, but you are firm in your appetites for teaching and education. You accept your future of lower pay then your peers with a smile on your face. You study the ins and outs of Section 504 and IDEA like it’s a YA novel. It takes an extraordinary kind of person to do these things, and you, Education Major, are this kind of person. You could have switched your major when things started getting hard, but you didn’t. 

You’ve probably sat through enough education courses to understand that teaching is not going to be the walk in the park that many view it as. You do much more than cut our gingerbread men in the library while others work on lab reports. You will have to make sure your research-based teaching strategies are able to reach the hundreds of students you will encounter, each of which are at different levels and have different life experiences. You will assist in writing IEP after IEP hoping and praying that your student will succeed both in your classroom and once they leave it. 

You will be heartbroken when you see students bringing in their own personal struggles from home, and you would take away all of their pain if you could. Students will come in with trauma and emotions that only a highly equipped person, maybe an educator, is ready to handle. The world thanks you. You have the weight of not only your world but the several worlds of your pupils on your shoulders. 

You plan to spend nights and weekends doing unpaid work at home to make sure your students have the best educational experience possible the second they step foot in your classroom. You will spend your prep period searching your brain for possible reasons a student keeps acting out in class and how you can reach him. You will lie in bed hoping that tomorrow’s lesson will be successful. Your money will no longer be spent on yourself. It will be spent on supplies and books that the school will not provide just so your students can learn in different ways. Is of this worth it? I think you already know the answer, Education Major. Being a teacher isn’t for everyone, and you are a special kind of person. You were put on this planet to enact positive change and shape the future. I am so proud of you. 

HCXO, 

Gina

Gina Johnston

St Vincent '19

"Freedom lies in being bold" - Robert Frost Rugger, vegetarian, future educator
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