Thought Catalog
April 11, 2016

Yes, I Want To Be A Teacher (And Don’t Try To Tell Me Otherwise)

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After completing Preschool, Kindergarten, and first through twelfth grade, my chance to finally pursue a career came when the door to college opened.

I wanted to pursue becoming a teacher; I always have and always will.

There is no doubt in my mind that teaching is a passion of mine. I went from six year old me: teaching my stuffed animals and Barbie dolls with a pencil in my hair as writing on my chalkboard and whiteboard to now being an assistant teacher a few days a week and completing internships in high school. In all of those years, nothing changed my mind about becoming a teacher.

When people ask, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I always confidently answer, “I want to be a teacher”. Some reactions are genuinely inspired by that, whereas many open their eyes wide with surprise. They always reply with a “You want to be a teacher? Good luck dealing with the kids!” or “Props to you. I could never do that”. People respond with a concern and sense of shock that I would want to do such a thing.

First off, many, if not all, of those responses come from adults. Adults are most commonly the ones of age to be parents. Parents send their kids to school. Do you get where I am going with this?

Parents, when they respond in such a way, are basically saying, “How do you deal with our children?” or “Why would you want to deal with our nation’s children?”

So, to answer that hidden question: Yes, I want to “deal” with your children because they deserve a chance to grow. Everyone has a brain, a mind, and many passions, especially at a younger age, and it is a teacher’s job to get them on the right track and push them in the right direction.

It is our job to be a role model in their life to keep them going, to inspire them to want to learn, and to motivate them to always do their personal bests. It is our job not just to be the grades on the paper and make their report cards, but it is our responsibility to be there for them not just on an academic level, but on a personal level.

Teachers are to build relationships with their students and inspire them that the grades are not a definition of who and what they are. Grades are a baseline of strengths and weaknesses, as well as to give the teachers an idea of where they can best help you for the next assignment.

The young minds of the world are going to someday be the future minds of the world. We need to allow them to grow and to try whatever they desire, so they can narrow down and pursue a career. We need to allow them to succeed and even to fail.

“Our greatest joy is not in never falling, but in rising everytime we fall.”
-Confucius

We need to show them that we all can’t be right at everything, and we all sure aren’t going to be the best at everything. Sometimes you may “fail,” but that is totally okay. A teacher is to support students through everything, so someday, in the future, they can have the experience and mindset to overcome various obstacles. They can have the drive that whether a teacher or not, they can pay it forward to their children or anyone in particular to not give up.

We need teachers. You may have complaints about specific teachers, as do I, but that is another pushing factor inspiring me to want to be a teacher. I have been blessed with many amazing teachers in my life. But, I can say there were a few that I do not know how they are teachers. They can be bitter, unmotivated, abusive of their tenure, and not care enough about coming through to the students.

But it is because of all my teachers in which I have learned what kind of teacher I want to be. I know how I want to teach, and I for sure know what kind of teaching is ineffective that I want to be nothing like.

I desire to teach and to “deal” with everyone’s kids. I desire to change their lives and be a teacher that leaves a mark.

Yes, I want to be a teacher, and nothing will change that. TC mark