Sunday, February 9, 2014

Why I want to teach!

When you're a senior in college, lots of people are pretty interested in what you'll be doing with your life next year. I think just about everyone stopped expecting anything normal from me a long time ago, but I think my plans for next year still catch some of them by surprise.

"You want to be a teacher?" "Yes! 100%! It's absolutely what I love!"

Even then I'm pretty sure some of them still don't quite get it. No, I didn't major in education (and boy am I glad I didn't - no offense to any education majors out there, but I consider the experiences I had as a Russian and IS double major irreplaceable and infinitely important), but that certainly doesn't mean teaching gets a big black line through it on the list of career options.

So where exactly does this crazy idea to become a teacher come into play?

Anyone who knows me, knows that I have an extreme soft spot for all things cute, especially children (and kittens).  I can barely walk by a baby without an "awww" escaping my lips and have been known to buy my adorable nephew a chocolate bar and let him eat the entire thing on the car ride home.

And while there will inevitably be an adorable munchkin or two (or twelve) in my classroom, "loving kids" is not why I want to teach.

I want to teach children because my teachers were some of the most important and influential people in my life.  They taught me letters and numbers and grabbed my attention with the most fascinating novels and accounts of history...but more importantly, they taught me to love learning.  To crave more knowledge and new experiences each and every day.  They challenged me, not only with problem sets and final exams, but also with leadership roles among my peers and pushing me (sometimes a little and sometimes a lot) out of my comfort zone. They were some of my greatest role-models and I respected them so much!

I want to be that! Through the ups and the downs I want to give my pupils even half of the inspiration my teachers gave me and always strive to give more and more!

I want to challenge my students! I never have and never will accept mediocrity from them. Does every student have the same abilities? Of course not! But the best work of each pupil becomes clear to a teacher in a very short time and when I see that from my kiddos, whether they appreciate it or not, my teacher self is all aglow!

I mentioned before that I chose a variety of different experiences over a four-year education degree. What I learned, where I went, all of the amazing wonders of the world to which my eyes were opened - I want to share those with my students! I want the things I have seen, smelled, tasted, and touched as well as the people and conversations which have touched my life to speak to my students louder than the words of even the most brilliantly well-written and informative textbook.  If not, a robot might as well take my job!

I want to teach children because that is when I shine brightest.  I call it my "teacher high".  After a long day of teaching (or even just one of those particularly insane 45 minute lessons when it seems that the children have gone bonkers), I will admit that I am sometimes exhausted. But that exhaustion doesn't usually hit until sometime 30 minutes to a few hours later.  Until then I'm filled to the brim with positive energy and smiles.

I want to teach because I think it is one of the most important jobs in the world, never-mind what my paycheck might say.  I want to teach because it fills me to overflowing with happiness. I want to teach because I bring energy and excitement to the classroom.  I want to teach because I want to somehow, someway I will make it happen.  Because a spirit of determination, well, some very special teachers along the way taught me that too!

summer students, second session, 2013

1 comment:

  1. I am very proud to have the privilege of being your Mom, Chelsea! You should do what you have a passion for and it is obvious that you have a passion for not only learning, but for teaching. All of your experiences will serve to make you a very well-rounded teacher, one who can share everything you have experienced in a way that cannot be done just by reading about it in a textbook. I am thankful for the teachers you have had the privilege of studying with throughout your formal education who have inspired you. You are an amazing young woman, and I know that you will be an amazing teacher!