October 16, 2013
Why People Teach
When sitting with my former mentor teacher Amy Bergstrom she asked me, “why do you want to be a teacher?” I responded with a list of qualities and traits I have that could be applied to the teaching profession. I then asked her the same question and she responded with a very answer different than mine. She explained to me how in the profession you might now always want to be a teacher because it really is one of the hardest carriers, but the reason that people teach is that the outcome, due to what teachers provide, outweighs the challenges of a teacher’s everyday life. The process of a teaching career is far more complex than telling children what they need to know about a particular subject or about life. Teaching is a profession that can yield something amazing when the right ideas and beliefs are implemented in the classroom (What Is Teaching Really All About?).
One of the hardest parts about this profession is that most students don’t appreciate the work the teacher puts into what they do for the student until after the learning process is complete. The student may acknowledge that they have fun or that they learned something new one day in class but the teacher put in so much more effort than what the student acknowledges for. Teachers put in long hours so that the concept of learning comes easily to the student. This of course is all offset when a student accredits learning to the teacher, but for the most part a teacher will be the most determining factor of a child’s education and go unnoticed for their actions. Patience is the thing that helps ease one’s mind with this. Patience is the key trait that anyone that wants to pursue a career in education, or working with children for that matter, must have. Patience and understanding are what get you through the hardest circumstances when teaching in the classroom. Even at school the teacher’s obligations are not limited to the classroom. A day for one in this profession might include chaperoning kids at recess or being responsible for students in another class while in the hallway. During the school day a teacher may wear many hats. A teacher might be an instructor, a discipliner, an advisor, a mentor, an encourager, and possibly even a councilor. The different roles a teacher may have to put on in one day shape a child’s education experience. When a teacher takes on each of these roles the children in his or her class is able to learn and absorb knowledge to the best of their ability. A time when a teacher’s patience might be applied is when working with parents, whether they are cooperative or not they play an important role in a child’s learning process and a friendly relationship, even when hard to achieve, is necessary. A teacher’s day is really never ending. When at home, Mrs. Bergstrom agrees, a teachers mind is constantly finding things and thinking of activities that can be incorporated into the classroom. Many people are confused into thinking that teachers have it easy with summers off and shortened workdays compared to the 9- 5 average jobs. Teachers, in reality, have much harder workloads. Teachers spend their summers and breaks preparing for the upcoming semester and going to teacher workshops, and spend their evenings and weekends grading papers, which is a necessity for available teaching time during the week. A teachers afternoons and lunch breaks are filled with parent-teacher meetings and one-on-one sessions for students who might need a little extra help in class. These time consuming traits might seem undesirable to many, but for an educator these things are necessary to be able to achieve the joy that teaching produces. Last year I interned at Forest Vista Elementary school with Mrs. Bergstrom's kindergarten class and the experience I had there even more encouraged me to want to pursue my degree in education. I worked a lot individually with a few students who had learning disabilities and what I learned through doing this showed me something valuable. After I had worked with them over a period of months with something like shapes or simple math lessons and they could finally tell me what a sphere was or how to count to 200, that moment brought me incredible joy. I loved seeing my kids just simply get it. In that moment they felt accomplished, they felt like they could do anything in the world. In that moment they learned something, and not just about math or any subject, but about themselves. Those kids learned they were capable, and this is why I want to teach. I want to see hundreds of kids feel the joy that comes from learning.
Bergstrom, A. 9 Oct. 2013. Interview.
"What Is Teaching Really All About?" Yahoo Contributor Network. Kristin Ketteringham, 11 July 2007. Web. 16 Oct. 2013.