Teaching Is My Dream, Quit Telling Me To 'Aim Higher'

Teaching Is My Dream, Quit Telling Me To Aim Higher

It's not a job; it's a passion.

Teaching Is My Dream, Quit Telling Me To Aim Higher
"What are your plans after college?"
"I'm going to be a high school English teacher."
"Oh, really? That's it?"

It sounds blunt, but I have had this conversation more times than I can count. Don't worry; I am not offended by the comment. In fact, I would have said the same thing a few years ago.

So why teaching?

I think my case will be best explained by telling you why I am on the path that I am.

I first began to consider a career in education in my junior year of high school. I had a phenomenal group of teachers that year, all of whom loved what they taught and loved their students even more. Classes were filled with rants on how bad the "Gatsby" characters really were, quick recaps of what had gone down at the game the night before, and the kind of mentorship only the most caring of teachers can truly offer.

They made teaching look easy. It was not a job they had just taken because nothing else was available. No, it was something they loved doing, something they had sacrificed higher-pay, adult interaction, and the lack of chaos to pursue. Along the way, I found I related to their excitement.

Since elementary school, I have had an incredible love for all things literature. I have a red pen on me at all times to correct any mistakes I find throughout my day, whether it be in a textbook or on a flyer. My bookshelf at home is overflowing to the point where half of my collection is split into stacks on the floor. Long story short: I just love English!

This is where you say, "So why don't you become a writer or a professor?"

Well, *takes a sip of tea* I'm glad you asked. Writing is a lonely job filled with constant critique. Being a creator for Odyssey has opened my eyes to this. If your work is not popular, then it might as well not exist. And where is the writing done? Let's take a look at where I am typing up this article.

Natalie Austin

Sure, my roommate is at the desk behind me (and giving me weird looks for taking a random picture of my desk,) but there is no real interaction here. There is no hum of conversation or creative brainstorming taking place in the background (you know, like they show in every movie about any journalist ever.) Instead, I am in my tiny dorm, trying to block out the rap music coming from the room next door, and attempting to ignore the weird smell wafting in from the hallway. Glamorous, right?

As for the professor job, do you realize what a career like that requires? You don't just lecture at a few classes of students and get six-digits thrown at you. Joining the faculty of a university comes with the expectations of published work, mentorship of students, and on-going research. Summers off? Yeah, right. When do you think the bulk of the research is done?

So let's revisit the job of a high school teacher. It is far from all sunshine and roses, but it is filled with people and the hope of a better tomorrow. And if you really think about it, don't you agree people should be treated as one of our greatest investments?

My eleventh-grade teachers did.

And so God led me to where I am today. The dreams I thought I had of being a powerful businesswoman or unshakable attorney were nothing compared to the excitement I now feel as a future educator.

I have physical dreams of being in a classroom. My free time is filled with ideas of how to relate crusty old literature to a group of fourteen-year-olds. I watch movies like "Dead Poets' Society" and "Mona Lisa Smile" numerous times as I wait for the day when that will be me. And I physically cannot help myself from smiling when I set foot in a classroom.

I realize the students will not love literature as I do. I realize they will refuse to learn the curriculum placed in front of them. I realize I will be criticized and belittled on a daily basis. I realize they may hate me.

These thoughts do not scare me, or tempt me to run away.

Instead, they push me to try harder.

No matter how many eye rolls and complaints the students bless me with, I will continue to smile and ask them how they are doing. A lot of people underestimate how much of an impact that one little question has.

Want to see a change in the future? Try starting with the teenagers who will one day step into Congress, med school, or a classroom such as me. More importantly, focus on the ones who don't want any of that. We need brick masons just as much as we need another engineer. It's time to start acting like it.

So to answer your question: yes, I do really want to be a high school English teacher. Roll your eyes. Make a comment. Talk up your more challenging degree.

If you need me, I'll be in the classroom, talking books and solving problems with the future of America.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

119 People Reveal How The Pandemic Has Affected Their Love Lives, And Honestly... Relatable

"I haven't been able to get out of the 'talking phase' with anyone."

The reality is, there's no part of life the pandemic hasn't affected. Whether it's your work life, your home life, your social life, or your love life, coronavirus (COVID-19) is wreaking havoc on just about everything — not to mention people's health.

When it comes to romance, in particular, people are all handling things differently and there's no "right way" of making it through, regardless of your relationship status (single, taken, married, divorced, you name it). So, some of Swoon's creators sought out to hear from various individuals on how exactly their love lives have been affected since quarantine began.

Keep Reading... Show less

7 Things You Need To Know About Our NEW Bachelorette, Tayshia Adams

Could THIS be the most dramatic season in "Bachelorette" history?

Bombshell news coming from Bachelor Nation today, Tayshia Adams is replacing Clare Crawley as the bachelorette!

Rumor has it that Clare found her person early on in the process and did not want to continue with the process of leading other men on throughout the season.

Keep Reading... Show less

The NBA is back, and for basketball fans, like myself, it has been the BEST news we have heard since COVID-19 shutdown play indefinitely. I mean, come on, we need to see if James Harden can once again perform so well he has back-to-back 50 point games, Kawhi can lead another team to the championship title, and whether Giannis is going to be back-to-back MVP... among like 500 other things running through our heads!

In the midst of all of the amazing statistics and records that these players are breaking, though, we also just love the NBA because well, there are some pretty good looking guys out there. Here are the 19 hottest NBA players (in no particular order) you would totally let slam dunk on you now that the NBA has returned.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Everything You Need To Know About Macronutrients, Because A Diet Should Be More Than Calories

Pay attention to what you're eating, not just how much you're eating.

Plenty of people are familiar with the "calories in, calories out" (CICO) method of dieting which can be used for losing, gaining, or maintaining weight. This method relies on calculating a person's total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) to ensure that they are not overeating or undereating to achieve their desired weight. TDEE considers a person's height, weight, age, gender, and level of activity to determine what their caloric intake should be — some calculators can factor in body fat percentage as well. When I used a TDEE calculator online, it said that my TDEE would be 1,990 calories if I was trying to maintain my weight, but are all calories created equal? I'd argue that they're not.

It might seem obvious to some of you that 1,990 calories of macaroni and cheese are not healthy at all compared to 1,990 calories of varied foods (fruit, veggies, meat, bread, etc.).

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

If 'Hockey Is For Everyone,' Why Is Matt Dumba So Alone In Fighting For Racial Equality In The NHL?

If the NHL is using #WeSkateForEquality, why is Dumba alone in the fight for equality?

On Saturday, August 1, 2020, the National Hockey League resumed play for the first time since March 12, 2020. The season was paused due to the growing coronavirus (COVID-19) spread and a concern for the players contacting the virus and spreading it through the League. Fans and players sat and waited for the hockey season to resume, which took more than 140 days.

Keep Reading... Show less

- Though as a little girl, I had the silkiest, softest hair that would get compliments everywhere I went, since I turned about thirteen I've since had coarse, dry hair no amount of deep conditioning masks or sulfate-free shampoo could fix.

- I started using the Raincry's Condition Boar Bristle Brush several months ago, and while I noticed that my hair had been softer, silkier, and shinier than it had ever been, I didn't make the connection because I never thought a simple hairbrush could make any difference in my hair texture.

- I will be the first to admit that I thought it was ridiculous to spend nearly a hundred dollars on a hairbrush, but this one eliminates the need for me to use any heat tools or styling products on it.

- I put some oil or a serum in my hair when it's wet, brush my hair with the boar bristle brush once it's dry, and end up with the lowest maintenance, shiniest hair I've had since I was 8 years old.


Keep Reading... Show less

What Your Favorite Rom-Com Says About You And Your Dream Guy

These movies are always there for us when we need them.


Bingeing a romantic comedy is always a good idea, and during this pandemic, these movies bring us one of the only elements of romance we can get. Through all the break-ups, obstacles, and struggles in our love lives, romantic comedies have always been there to make us laugh and keep us company while we cry.

While we love these movies for the beyond gorgeous male love interests, the female protagonists are still the ones we always remember. Although rom-coms are far from reality, it is always fun to imagine what our life would be like if a cinematic studio was behind our love life. So what does your favorite romantic comedies say about your dream guy?

Keep Reading... Show less

Whether you're in an unhealthy relationship currently, you know someone who is, or you just want to have these numbers saved just in case it could one day save someone's life (if not your own), this article is for you. Here are three numbers to save in your contacts ASAP so you can always be safe, both physically and mentally, in every relationship.

Keep Reading... Show less

Just Because You're Asked To Be In A Wedding, Doesn't Always Mean You Should Say Yes

If you can't invest time, money, and YOURSELF, maybe say no to the offer for the bride's sake!

Being in a wedding is a really big commitment. I personally think if you've never been in one before, you don't understand the time, money, and energy that goes into being a part of it.

Keep Reading... Show less

As any poor college student, a little kick of caffeine for less than a dollar has always sounded great to me. So, naturally, AriZona Iced Tea has been a go-to for as long as I can remember.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments