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Why Should I Want to Become a Teacher?

By jonkedwards Feb 25, 2013 1031 Words
Why I became a Teacher?
When I was unfulfilled, working in the profession of social work, I decided that I would need to help others for my job. That was in 2007. I quit my job and did something that I had never done before. I started hiking the Appalachian Trail by myself. After thinking about what goals I had, it hit me: teaching. As a teacher you will influence youth to make a difference in their lives. That is when I thought about the example that my mother had been for students at her high school. When I was thinking about this back in 2007, I remembered that I hated my middle school experience. Then I thought maybe I could make a difference for some youth within the middle school setting. Finally, it all came together when I stopped hiking at a lake in New York, I have been working with youth from ages 11-18 for the past two years. I enjoy explaining new concepts to people so that they understand them, and I have had teachers around me all of my life. So that is when my hike ended. I went to visit relatives in New York for two weeks after I had decided to go back to Richmond, Virginia to look into options for teaching. Michelle Shearer said in her interview for teacher of the year, “what I love about teaching is at the end of every day I never have to wonder if what I do makes a difference” (Shearer, 2013). This is one question that I will not have to ask again because I believe teachers do make a huge difference in their student’s lives. Who Inspired me to be a Teacher?

The main person who influenced me to become a teacher was my mother, Mrs. Barbara Edwards. She is an amazing woman and has influenced many lives in her 26 years as a special education teacher. She has a servant’s heart and high expectations for students who come into her classroom. She also will do the little things to encourage her students. While one of her students was in school his mother died. She went to the funeral and made sure to check in with him about how he was doing. I still remember my mother sitting next to me at the funeral saying, “I want my funeral to be a homecoming service because that is what it will be. I will be going home.” The image I cannot get out of my head is this large black student hugging his smaller, white English teacher on the way out. The second event happened almost every year. My mother would bribe her students with food. She would buy all different types of snacks for them to eat while they were working on assignments. She would supply them with paper or pencils and that would help them be able to show what they learned. She would even sometimes buy pizza for them to eat. It’s not the gifts that I noticed, it was that she took the time to listen to them and provide them with positive reinforcement. These things were sacrifices that nobody would see, unless they were with her every day. She even started to share more with her students that she saw on a daily basis because they cared for her too. Growing up with my mother’s example for a teacher is what influenced me to become one. What Grade Level do you want to Teach and why?

I would like to teach the middle grades 6th to 8th Grade in either Science or History. I enjoy History because of the variety of activities lessons can have with the subject matter. Science is always a class where students can discover new characteristics about the world they live in. The reason that I believe that teaching 6th to 8th grade is important is because it is a very hard time for youth. They are going through so many changes that it is important for them to be supported and challenged. What Characteristics, Experiences, or Skills do you possess for Teaching? There are many skills that are needed for teaching. One of these is monitoring and addressing both academic and emotional developments in the classroom. This is mentioned in the detailed part of the “High Expectations” on the GCU webpage for Professional Dispositions of Learners (Professional Disposition of Learners, 2012). I learned this while working with youth at a wilderness therapy school in western Virginia. LaToya Waller said, “I feel like there are people that you know, have natural abilities in certain areas through you know, preparation, and refinement and reflection, they just become great at what they do” (Waller, 2013). Being able to see how I can improve myself as a teacher is one of the import characteristics I believe I have. Having to do that within a small group of teens showed me that this is an important tool for students to learn as well. These two characteristics will benefit any teacher because they demonstrate the drive a teacher needs to model for his or her students. In conclusion to all of these different points, Paul Anderson’s answer to the question “Why do I teach?” sums up why I teach as well. “It is the thing I do. It’s the thing that I love. If I can do that while allowing students to learn how to learn, that’s the best thing in the world” (Anderson, 2013). References

Anderson, Paul. (2013). National Teacher of the Year 2011. Teachers of the Year: Pearson Foundation. Retrieved on January 23, 2013 from http://www.pearsonfoundation.org/ccsso-toy/2011/mt/autoplay. Professional Disposition of Learners. (2012). Retrieved on Jan. 23, 2013 from http://www.gcu.edu/College-of-Education/Program-Essentials/Professional-Dispositions-of-Learners.php. Shearer, Michelle. (2013). National Teacher of the Year 2011. Teachers of the Year: Pearson Foundation. Retrieved on January 22, 2013 from http://www.pearsonfoundation.org/ccsso-toy/2011/md/autoplay. Waller, LaTonya. National Teacher of the Year 2011. (2013). Teachers of the Year: Pearson Foundation. Retrieved on January 22, 2013 from http://www.pearsonfoundation.org/ccsso-toy/2011/va/autoplay.

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