It came as a surprise to many when I finally chose to be a teacher. Many asked me why I’d go into a field that is notorious for low pay and a lack of benefits, and the answer was different for every question. “I guess I enjoy learning and teaching.” “I get the summer off!” “It’s the easiest thing I could think of,” etc.
Honestly? I want to be a teacher for a much deeper reason.
I made my decision after watching a movie in my high school geometry class. My teacher thought we’d benefit from looking at a true story of inner city kids in California strive for AP classes and pass the AP exam. He played the movie "Stand and Deliver," and I have never been moved by a film so much in my life. I saw the teacher’s never ending dedication and faith in his students, and I saw how that ended up affecting their lives for the better. They went from a life of possible delinquency to university graduates.
I thought of my experiences with school. Too many times did I have a teacher who didn’t care about the learning styles of their students, instead focusing on whether or not they passed tests. Too many times I saw teachers catering to only a select few in their class, completely disregarding those who either weren’t interested in the subject or needed more time to learn it well. The teachers at the schools I went to didn’t care; that is until I finally got to Honors level classes.
It genuinely bothered me that my peers didn’t appreciate school as much as I do. They didn’t have teachers that cared about them or help them find the purpose of learning about Shakespeare or why World War 2 matters. I wanted to be that teacher. I want to be the teacher that makes my students think for themselves and instill in them a hunger for learning. I want to make learning fun, and I want to change lives.
There’s a very famous saying about “what teachers make." The saying goes on to explain that teachers inspire, create the next big world leaders, and fuel creativity. That’s why I want to be a teacher. I want to be able to fuel creativity in a system that beats the creative process out of students at a very young age. I want my student’s to strive for the best and not feel like they’re taken advantage of. When I’m a teacher, they’ll know what it’s like to have someone who genuinely cares about their future and their well-being. Even if I don’t get to see the fruits of my labor immediately, I know that the seeds have been planted. It’s like the ancient Greek proverb says: A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.