So you're majoring in education. Whether it's elementary education or high school English, you've got an important job to do.
Teaching is a calling. It is not a job to be taken lightly, and it most certainly is not a backup plan. Teachers have to passionate enough about their students to stick it out. This is not an easy job, nor is it a job that deserves to be neglected in the eyes of the world. Teachers work hard. Teachers are not paid near enough for the work they do, and that's why you have to be passionate. That's why you have to be called.
Teaching is hard work. It comes with paperwork, grading, lesson plans, and a lot of "adopted" children. Teaching is not an 8am-3pm job. Teachers take their work with them everywhere they go. Whether it's grading papers on a Saturday night or waking up fifteen minutes earlier to get to the printer first that morning. Sometimes it's about that work the students don't see. It's not standing in front of a board teaching multiplication tables or the scientific method. It's a lot more than that.
Teaching is not about you. It will never be about you. This job is about pure selflessness and sacrifice for the care of your students. There are days you won't always be able to reach out to your students. There are days you have to be quiet about what you believe. There are days you won't be able to care for your students as much as you want to. There are going to be kids you can't stand and kids you can't stand to see leave. There will be days you hate your job and days you love it, but the bad days make the good ones that much sweeter.
Teaching has the ability to change lives. Some of you are becoming teachers because of the influence some of your teachers had on you. The simple truth is that teachers impact the world every day. Yes, teachers will teach the future doctors, engineers, and CEOs, but it's always going to be a lot more than that. Teaching is a ministry. It's a job solely based on attitude and actions. It's a job where sometimes it may not feel as if you are able to have those bad days.
It takes a tough person to be a teacher. It takes somebody kind and compassionate, so children are able to feel taken care of. It takes somebody stern and punctual, so children aren't able to walk all over you. It takes somebody called, so people know you're in it for the long haul. The simple truth is, there are kids that are going to need you and kids that won't. There are kids you'll share your heart with and others just your knowledge, but both types of kids are important, and both types of students need a teacher like you.
It's not going to be easy, but I think one day, you'll look back and see all of the students you had, some of whom you still keep up with, some of whom changed your perspective, some of whom made it worth it, and you'll know why you were called. You'll understand that this profession is hard and draining, but you'll understand the importance of why you were called. There is no other teacher like you, and I know your future students can't wait to meet you.
*In the picture of this article is none other than my high school Math teacher, Mrs. Jones. She is kind, funny, and took real good care of me throughout my high school experience. She's a teacher who makes the impact, and a teacher who makes me want to do the same for my future students. Thank you, Mama Jones, for truly being the best. I love you!*
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