An Open Letter To Those Who Say I Shouldn't Be A Teacher

An Open Letter To Those Who Say I Shouldn't Be A Teacher

Every time someone asks what I'm going to school for, I'm proud and excited to reply with "Elementary Education." However, far too often, I'm confronted with people who tell me that I'm wasting my time. They say I'm "too smart" to be a teacher, or I could be making more money doing something else. The stigma that, for some reason, exists against the teaching profession needs to come to an end, so here is my response to all of those people who don't understand why I want to teach:

To the person who told me teaching is a waste of time:

While I value your opinion, I must say I'm very confused as to what about the teaching profession could be a waste of time. To gain experience, I've spent many hours in classrooms already, and I leave those rooms of children each day feeling fulfilled. Maybe I didn't change the world in that one day of shadowing or substitute teaching, but I was there for the children who are going to be the future of this world one day.

I want you to take a moment to think about the job you have now. I hope you love it as much as I love teaching since that's what everyone really deserves in a career. But think about how you got to that job. You didn't just wake up one morning and have an awesome position. You took classes, each one building on another. It might not seem like it, but even your elementary school teachers helped you to get to the job you have today. If you hadn't learned how to read in first grade or how to count money in second grade, you wouldn't be standing where you are today.

One of the comments I receive all the time is that I'm "too smart" to be a teacher. I appreciate the supposed compliment though I don't think being smart really has anything to do with my chosen career path. I do work hard and I value my grades, but it's because I have a love for learning.

What I have is simple: Passion. Sure, I could be a doctor or a lawyer if I really wanted to and it would be a good thing because doctors and lawyers are incredibly important. But my passion lies with teaching and I think that's where I belong. Besides, do we really want "dumb" teachers shaping the minds and hearts of future generations? I sure would think otherwise.

If you think I could be setting myself up to make a lot more money with a different career path, you're absolutely right. Teachers don't make a huge salary, which is an entirely separate issue I won't get into now. But for me, it isn't about the money. It's about changing the lives of students. It's about inspiring learners. It's about making a difference. I honestly feel I was put on this earth to teach and no amount of money or luxury could convince me otherwise. I have no problem settling for a lower paycheck than what I could potentially be earning in another profession because, to me, it's all about the students.

So next time you tell me, or any other future/current/former teacher that their profession is a waste of time, I ask you to please reconsider doing so. I understand the life of a teacher isn't the glamorous, high-paying job many people aspire to have, and that's OK. But it doesn't mean it's less important than any other job. Teachers inspire the future.

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The Stages Every College Kid Looking For An Internship Goes Through, Rinses And Repeats

I'm either underqualified or overqualified.

Some majors require an internship, and some do not. However, us college students are always told that having an internship could really benefit you when finding an entry-level job when you graduate. As the new year begins, many college students are competing and applying for all of these internships and it's nervewracking.

Here are the stages of finding an internship, told by a college student:

1. Writing a perfect resume and cover letter.

It has to be perfect. You want it to look like everybody else's, but somehow it needs to stand out as well. You have to fit work experience, education, your skills, volunteering, leadership roles, and your relevant coursework all on one page? Good luck. Also, everyone has different views on what makes the best resume and cover letter. Which one does my dream job like the best?! The world may never know.

2. Applying for internships and temporary jobs.

You scroll through a million job websites trying to find titles that seem fitting in your area. Some of the qualifications are not fair and do not make sense. Other qualifications a monkey could do. It's all over the place on the web so be careful of what you choose. You send about 100 applications and send your resume to 100 employers, hoping to get one stinking internship.

3. You get an email of interest.

Oh, happy day! A company potentially wants to hire you! You get all excited for it, but then realize how nervous you are.

4. You get an email that you have been denied.

Well, better luck next time. You win some, you lose some. There's still hope (or at least that's what we tell ourselves).

5. You prepare for the interview.

You research their website and their company so that when it comes time for the interview, you are their biggest fan. You have to mentally prepare yourself for this interview.

6. You do a phone interview.

You are ready for them to ask you what your strengths and weaknesses are, and the basic questions. Then, they throw you a curveball. You answer to the best of your ability and regret your answer later, wondering if that just ruined your interview.

7. You want to meet this company and they want to meet you.

This is it. You got the real-deal interview. I guess they liked what you said in the phone interview when you just kind of word-vomited everywhere! OK, now you have to prepare for this interview, which will be even scarier.

8. You finally get an internship.You got the offer!

You got the offer! There is some miracle out there that they picked you out of at least 50 applicants and you are thrilled. You are the chosen one.

Do all of this on repeat while taking five to six classes, fulfilling extracurricular activities, and work, and you will find an internship right away (or not)!

Cover Image Credit: mdgovpics / Flickr

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Things You Should Know Before Applying to Grad School

It's not as scary as you think, but it is a lot of work.

Graduate school is a route that many young and hopeful undergrads look for once they read their junior, senior, or post-collegiate years. To many, the idea of graduate school might be a daunting task to set into motion, while to others, it might seem like the obvious next step. Whether you're sure about graduate school or not, here are a few things you must know that might help you make your decision.

1. Applying isn't as scary as you think it might be

I applied well after I graduated from college so I could work and save up some money. Despite having been in school for more than half of my life, I somehow forgot all about the structure of school and the application process in general. As a result, I became panicky and anxious at just the mere thought of having to create an account and read through the long, LONG lists of things to do and send in. Yet as I've just turned in my first application, I feel much better about it. It wasn't as terrifying as I thought, although trust me - it IS a lot of work.

2. Applying is a lot of work

As I said before, there's a lot that goes into applying to graduate schools. Depending on what you're trying to pursue your masters in, there's usually an essay portion, a statement of interest, or a "personal statement," as well as GRE/MCAT/LSAT scores that have to be sent in, and sending in your transcripts. Depending on what you plan to do and where you plan to go, there could be loads of other aspects, such as interviews or resumes to be uploaded.

3. It's pretty much all online

You'd think that would make it easier, but nope. Unless you're a pure technological wizard, there are going to be times when you look at the website and think "what on earth?" simply because it is such an involved process. Just make sure to re-read everything and double check what you've uploaded.

4. It ain't cheap

I repeat - applying to graduate schools is not cheap. You have to have a lot of money saved up just to apply to ONE college. You've got the application fee (ranges from $40-80), the test fee ($200+), sending in your transcripts fee ($10-20), and sending in your test scores fee ($20+). Add that up and that's way too much money to spend just so that you can spend even MORE money on that education. Now multiply that by four or five because that's probably how many schools you're applying to anyway. It's. Very. Expensive. It's not fair, but that's the price you pay (pun not intended) for wanting to better yourself, your career, and your education. Awesome.

5. You shouldn't be afraid to email or call the school of your choice

The graduate admissions office is there to help. Call them, call the coordinator for your desired program, and have them put you in contact with an actual living, breathing graduate student. I did that, and having someone tell me their experiences at the school helped ease my worries so much. These people want you to succeed (they also want your money - refer back to number four) so don't be afraid to utilize their knowledge to benefit yourself.

6. Visit the place you want to go to

It's not always possible, but in the event that it is, go for a little weekend trip to explore your options. I loved going down and visiting the places where I have applied and since doing so, I have a better idea of where I want to go and potentially start the rest of my career and life.

If you've had any issues with figuring out your life post-college, then look no further at this article to help you realize the steps that must be taken in order to apply. It might save you a lot of strife in the long run!

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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