Why Teach?

I’ve decided that this is definitely the year: I’m finally going back to school in the fall to earn my teaching degree. At a time when standardized testing is taking over; when teachers are being paid not based on their efforts but on student performance; at a time when new Math put logic aside, I still want to be a teacher. And my goal is that by this time next year, I will be one.

I remember when I was in fifth grade, one of my mom’s friends was one of the after school teachers at my school. I knew she was going to school during the day to become a “regular” teacher. She was so nice, but stern enough with the students that they listened to and respected her. I remember all the children in after the school program loved her, and were hoping that once she was done with school she’d be their teacher, including me.

Fast foward a few years, I had Mr. Cespedes for Social Studies in ninth grade, and again in twelfth grade. He made learning fun, using trivia and great anecdotes. One of my fondest high school memories is how this fun, interesting, smart man bookended my high school career.

Some say I have tons of patience with children, and that I’m good with them. I’ve always loved little kids. When my little brother was in preschool, I wanted to play with babies and toddlers all day, and wanted nothing more than to work at the school he attended.

I know the truth: a teacher’s hours aren’t limited to 8am-3pm. There’s grading, lesson planning, meetings, trainings…but it sure would be nice to have all those breaks off to spend with my own kids while they are still young enough to appreciate it.

Who makes the difference in the life of a child? The first answer is their parents, of course, but that’s a given. A teacher voluntarily gives their all for a child to learn to read, or understand a math concept, or explain how a tiny seed can become a mighty tree. I want to be the person that makes the difference in the life of a child.┬áIt’s been a lifelong dream, and I’m afraid of the regrets I’ll have if I don’t pursue it.


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