Whenever somebody asks me about my major or future plans, it usually goes one of these two ways:
"So, what do you want to be when you grow up?"
"Why would you want to do that? Low salary, a bunch of kids, stuffy classrooms."
"I could go on and on about why I would want to join a career that allows me to help shape the minds of future generations and provide them with information that will let them grow both academically and personally."
"You want to be a teacher? Why? Is it because it's easy and then you get the summer off? Well, you know what they say; those who can't, teach."
These types of conversations have become so frequent that I have developed a routine automatic answer. As an education major, I've gotten a lot of people who tell me that I should pick a different major (even some of my teachers have told me this). While I thank everyone for their opinion, I'm not really going to take it into consideration.
I've known that I want to be a teacher ever since I was a little kid. When I was young, I would play school and search for someone who I could teach. I love being able to fill a person's mind with information that they didn't know before. It gives me such joy to be able to say that I helped shape someone's education and potentially their life. Even though it may not be the highest paying job, I wouldn't want to do anything else.
To me, I don't count my success in how many zeros are on my paycheck, how many hours I work or how many degrees I have.
To me, I count my success in the amount of smiles and laughter in my class each day. I count my success in how many of my students graduate. I count my success in the amount of knowledge that each student has left my classroom with.
Personally, I think this is one of the most important jobs. Yes, there are other extremely important jobs such as doctor, firefighter, police officer, lawyers, politicians, etc. These are all incredibly crucial people to have in the world and it is important that they know how to do their jobs. Yes, they learn from people higher up in that profession but they all had to learn from a teacher.
Every single person goes through schooling that helps them determine who they are and what they want to be. Education is crucial to the growth of individuals and the world. It is important that people have a solid foundation of knowledge. As a teacher, I am able to help students lay down the bricks of that foundation. When my students get to the point where they no longer need my help in laying each brick down and building that foundation higher and higher, that's when I know that I did a good job.
Being an educator is not an easy job and that's okay. Being able to teach people something new each day makes it all worth it.