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Being a teacher is something I always wanted to do and I’ve known this since playing teacher was my favorite game as a kid. As I got older, though, I realized that being a teacher was an occupation that was looked down on. When I learned this, I put that dream of being a teacher behind me and decided to do something else that was more admirable, such as a doctor. Doctors have high education, make good money, and are looked up to. Teachers had none of those except a good education. 

As I got to college with hopes of becoming a doctor, I hated all of my classes. I didn’t find them interesting nor did I really want to go to class because I didn’t want to learn the material. This prompted a lot of questions that I had for myself. I knew that being a doctor wasn’t what I wanted to do, but how would I be viewed if I became a teacher? Would my family still be proud of me? Would I still be an inspiration to others? As I thought these things, I noticed that they were questions that don’t really matter and are very untrue. Why was I worrying what others would think of me and if I would still be considered successful? I wanted to choose a career that I would love no matter the money I made or how it was viewed by others and that’s exactly what I did. As soon as I changed my major to childhood pre-education, the little girl inside of me lit up. I knew that I had found where I belonged and what I loved to do. 

As expected, I have gotten a good amount of comments from friends and family about my decision such as being called a glorified babysitter, being told I won’t make a lot of money, and even being told this annoying quote: “Those who can, will, and those who can’t, teach.” Little do they know, having an education is one of the most powerful things someone can have. Without teachers, there would be no education or educational system. Teachers are some of the most vital people in a community but are so underpaid, undervalued, and given very little respect. Knowing all these things, teaching is what I want to do and I couldn’t be more excited about it. It’s a career for those who are passionate about education and aren’t in it for the money but instead are in it for the kids. I’m proud to be a future teacher and to be chasing my dreams.

Sheridan Mercer

Virginia Tech '22

A senior studying childhood pre-education with minors in psychology and disability Studies. I enjoy taking care of plants, listening to music, watching funny TikToks, journaling and cuddling with my cat.  
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