Why I Am Becoming a Teacher: A Reflection on How My Education Personally Touched Me

As an 18-year-old high school senior, I was living on my own in a small apartment that I called my home. Transitioning into this new and large stage of life was complicated at first; I struggled with my education and the ability to work enough hours to pay my bills. With this being the case for months, I debated dropping out of high school or enrolling in an Alternative Learning Center (ALC). For those who don’t know, an Alternative Learning Center is an education designed for students who are at-risk of educational failure. If I had gone to the ALC in my area, I would not have met state qualifications and wouldn’t have been able to go to college to further my education. 


I was unable to decide what I should do, and I was mixed with emotions. I had confided in my teachers explaining to them the situation I was in, along with my worries and concerns. With their help and understanding, I was able to be placed in an alternative learning program where I was able to continue my education and do well on my school work while being able to work full time. Not only did my determination and hard work get me through the school years, especially senior year, but also my teachers are a large reason I passed my senior year and eventually graduated.


Seventh grade Social Studies with Mr. Becker. Mr. Becker was seen as the intimidating teacher who was tough with students. In reality, he wanted to see us succeed and get out of our comfort zones. He had high expectations that made us want to accomplish them. I liked the subjects of what I had learned in class and I liked sitting next to my friends, which allowed me to talk about what we learned in class at the end of the day. Mr. Becker had taught not only me, but also everyone in his class how to be successful and what we as students needed to do to be successful in our academic career.


My high school education was important to me because since I was young, I knew I wanted to go to college. Towards the end of high school, it is drilled into students’ heads that they should know what they want to do as a career. But that’s a lot of pressure on a 17-year-old, let alone a student who’s trying their best just to survive. Since seventh grade, I had considered and liked the idea of becoming a teacher, yet I wasn’t sure if that’s what I wanted or would be able to do. I felt that way until the middle of my senior year.


History with Mr. Archer and Mr. Hinck. My teachers Mr. Archer and Mr. Hinck made students think critically about what we were being taught and to look at the big picture of it all, making sure they told us both “sides” of the story in history. Not only were they great at teaching history, but also they were willing to listen and help their students. Mr. Archer always had his door open to talk to students about whatever was on their mind, whether it was school work or life matters. I had talked to Mr. Archer about all the pressure I was under trying to work and pay bills while trying to do well in school. Mr. Archer had recommended me to the Alternative Learning Program that Mr. Hinck ran and taught. I didn’t know this was an option or how well it would have worked out for me. Yet I was welcomed into the program and told if I ever needed anything that I could let them know. I was able to do my school work and work full time to pay my bills. If anything ever came up or happened to disrupt my school work, Mr. Hinck was understanding and gave me the ability to finish my assignments after work, or in a different town for family matters. 


Because of all the wonderful teachers I’ve had throughout my life, I have decided to become a teacher, as well, in secondary social studies. I want to be that person in someone’s life who gives them a hand and makes their day better. I want to be that positive influence in others’ lives, helping and encouraging them along the way. 


I want to change the lives of others as my teachers had done for me.