Updated: Jan 27, 2020
As far back as I can remember, I have always wanted to be a teacher. I remember playing “school” as a young child. Whether my cousins were my students, or baby dolls, I always loved the entire idea of teaching. As I got into my junior and senior year of high school, people began with negative comments as to why they felt that I should not be a teacher: “you will never make any money!”, “why would you want to be a glorified babysitter?” and “working with kids? Have fun with that!” just to name a few. At first, I did listen. I swayed away after my first two years at Saginaw Valley to pursue a different career that “made more money”. After some time, I ended up right where I know that I have always belonged: in the teaching program. To me, it has never been about the money. It has always been about making a difference and doing it in a career that fills my heart with pride and happiness. I always say that if I can make a difference in even ONE life, then it will be worth it.
While I love working with all kids, I have noticed that I am drawn to kids who have behavioral issues. I enjoy trying to create a relationship and break down the walls of students who are known as the "bad” kids. I know deep down that if they have a good teacher who cares about them, it can make a difference in how they behave and how much work they put into school. I know that because I was one of “those” kids, too.
I can’t explain the feeling that I get while in a classroom. It is a feeling of happiness and belonging. I know that it is where I am meant to be. I have always loved kids and have always been good at getting them to open up. To me, it is a gift that not many people have and it is a sign that I should be a teacher just like I have always wanted to be.
I want to be the teacher that does more than just teach students and go home. I want to be the teacher that cares more about my students. I want them to all do well and to never base a student off what I have heard about them from others. I want to attend their sporting events, their choir concerts, their bowling meets. I want to stay after and tutor them for a few minutes if it means one on one time that will help them understand material better. I want them to enjoy being in my classroom and know that it is a safe space where they can come and feel welcomed.
I once read about a boy who was late to school. After class, he walked up to his teacher and said, “I’m sorry I was late, my mom died this morning and I didn’t know where to go so I came here.” It was eye opening to me because that is the type of teacher that I want to be: the type of teacher who cares so much about her students that when they are going through the most difficult times, they still know that they can count on me.
So please, stop telling me to not be a teacher.