All I’ve ever wanted to be was a teacher, and I guess if I wasn’t so stubborn I would have listened to everyone and gone with something else, anything else. Everyone did their fair share of trying to tell me why not to become a teacher and telling me all of the other things I could be instead. They warned me about the money I wouldn’t have, the declining education system I would have to work in, and reminded me that I was smart enough to be something better.
But what is better than a teacher? If it were not for teachers, then how would we have doctors, lawyers, and scientists? Every profession comes from being taught lots of other things along the way, but teachers do much more than teach Math, Science, and Reading. They teach their students about life, the world, and the person they should strive to be. I have always wanted to be a teacher so that one day I could be to students what my teachers were to me. Teachers are their students' role models, friends, and constant support system. They are encouragers, cheerleaders, and in many situations, “the light at the end of the tunnel.” Yeah, I am smart enough to be something “better” or “bigger” than a teacher, but no other profession would need me or make me happy the way being a teacher will.
But we are falling victim to a system that is stripping those aspects away for students and teachers, and because of this declining system, I believe students need good, loving, caring teachers more than ever. The system is so focused on results that it ruins the relationships. The worst thing the system does is that it puts a label on the students, and the problem with labels is not everyone breaks them. Not everyone pushes themselves to be better than the label they have been given. They sell themselves short and restrict themselves, and without the right teacher and guidance, they end up becoming the label the system gave them instead of something better than what they were before. This system and these labels give me an even greater desire to become a teacher to help students see they are more than their label, and to encourage them to always push to be more.
No, I will never be wealthy by becoming a teacher, but I will most definitely be rich. Because you see being rich is having the things that money can’t buy. It’s looking into a student’s eyes and knowing that what you just taught “clicked” in their mind, and that they are finally getting it. That you have impacted even a small part of their world, and that you have done your part in making them someone they can be proud of being, and I would rather impact hundreds and hundreds of minds than possess thousands and thousands of dollars.
So yes, I could be something else, but I am so happy that I won’t be.