Why I Want To Be An Educator

Ever since I was a little girl, my options for what I wanted to be when I grew up were anything from princess to pop star. A little later in my path, a pharmacist (yikes, no thank you chemistry). When the responses became a more serious decision, I had two options in mind: lawyer, like my dad, or teacher, like my mom. I always found both of their jobs so rewarding when it came to helping other people. I’ve seen my father do plenty of nice gestures helping others with wills, small questions, etc. for people in my family and our friends. All are very thankful, and it makes me so proud to have a kind father who puts his own work in for others. That inspired me to want to help people. However, my mother as a teacher helps others in a different way: she teaches the youth. My mother’s job is not always the dreamiest. At her school, she’s dealt with many different child behavior issues. In spite of all of this, my mother still tells me that she would take teaching over another job any day. It can’t be that bad then, right?

In high school, I had one teacher in particular that really inspired me to want to be an educator. I had her for all four years of high school English, and year after year she continued to amaze me. Not only did she make it a point to get to know her students, but she related to us because she grew with us. When we were freshman, she taught freshman English, when we were sophomores, she taught sophomore English. When it was time for some of us to take AP classes, she made it a point to make sure she could teach AP. I fell in love with English and (believe it or not) writing papers because I wanted to show her that she did do a great job all of those years and did make a difference in my life. Without her, I most likely would not be on the path to teach high school English. 

In high school, I also had a great teacher who taught a lot of secondary courses (aka leadership, journalism, yearbook, etc.). Although this teacher was highly underappreciated (in my opinion) by most of the students for all that she did for our school, she had a huge impact on my soon-to-be career choice. Not only was she in charge of half of the school events, but she also taught regular classes. She continued to amaze me with all of the work that she put into her job. Without her, the school would not be what it is. I hope someday to make an impact on the school just like she did.

My mother helped hook me up at a job two summers ago teaching summer school at her elementary school. I got about 15-20 students to work with for four weeks. I had thought about being a teacher for a while at this point, but still was a little skeptical. The first week went smooth. I assisted a teacher at the school for the first week doing plenty of small activities. The next week, however, I was on my own. I never realized how difficult it can be doing lesson plans. It was 9:30 in the morning and I still had my kids till 12 and I had no clue what to do with them. I quickly made something up on the spot and realized that kids just want to be entertained!

The next summer, I came back to the same school with different students. This was a longer program that lasted about 2 months of the summer. This group of students were all great, but were a bit more challenging than the students I had last year. I came to really care a lot for my students within the first few weeks. Most were in 2nd and 3rd grade and still young, so they think that someone my age is the "coolest" person in the world. Many opened up to me right away and I got to know about their home lives. I will never forget when one student said to me, “you’re the best teacher I’ve ever had, you actually like listening to me!” She wasn’t lying. I did enjoy listening. My first summer I was absolutely positive that I wanted to teach, but after last summer, I fell in love with teaching. 

My mother still tells me about the students who ask about me frequently. It’s amazing what two months in the summer can do to a child. The most amazing part about it is that we never did anything but hang out at the school for four hours every day, but it’s the fact that I took the time to get to know each student and talk to them that made the difference. To the teachers who don’t take the time to get to know their students, shame on you. The impact you can make on a child is unbelievable and so rewarding. Although I am hoping to be a high school teacher, it goes for all ages and grades. I’m being an educator because my parents inspired me, my teachers inspired me, but most of all, the children have inspired me. There is never a more rewarding feeling than knowing you’ve made an impact on someone for the better. 

Photos: 1, 2, 3