I'm sure that at one point in all of our lives we have each encountered at least one educator that made a lasting impact on our lives. In fact, whether you realize it or not, your kindergarten teacher made an impact on you that carries you even today. They taught you your alphabet and began to teach you to read. A small thing that many adults take for granted started in a classroom, and that's where the power of an educator begins.
An educator is a person who devotes their time and effort into attempting to make you better at whatever you're doing. Whether it is elementary phonics or high school calculus, your educators have taken the time to make you more skilled. This is something that should be celebrated, not looked down upon.
Entering college as an education major has caused me to receive many confused or pitiful looks followed by the same question, "Why on Earth would you want to be a TEACHER?" Well, my answer is not so simple; in fact, I didn't even think that I wanted to be a teacher at first either.
I went to a small private high school, so every teacher and coach knew your name and face. There was definitely no hiding. Since elementary, I just knew I wanted to be a doctor, and that was that. However, over the course of high school, I had one teacher make a huge impact on me, big enough in fact, to help me realize that I had a passion outside of the medical field and into the classroom.
My high school English teacher (who I'm like 99% sure is reading this right now) changed my life. She's more than just a 7-3 teacher; in fact, she's there more than any other teacher I know. She's the teacher that you trusted with your secrets and problems at home or school; she's the teacher that always treated you like an adult. (Well, unless you wanted to act like little people, then that's what you got.) She made the extra effort, and went the extra mile when you didn't understand something, and that's what changed my life.
Her class is crazy, and she's loud. You can hear her from the bathroom halfway down the hallway, it's kind of insane (sorry Mrs. Dean.) There are talks of bunnies and logs, Gatsby and Daisy, the insanity that is 1984 by George Orwell, and of course the dreaded senior thesis. Foreshadowing is something you learn at age twelve that never goes away; in fact, it stays around forever.
While all of these things make her the greatest teacher I've ever encountered, the desire that she has to see her kids succeed is the most amazing part. Maybe that's fueled by the fact that she gets to 'win' when her kids benchmark on the ACT or her happy dance when they fly through Comp 1, but hey, everyone has to have a motive somewhere.
Teaching is a profession that shouldn't be taken lightly. In fact, it should be celebrated, and you should thank a teacher next time you see one, because there are plenty of 'Mrs. Dean's' out there in the world; have you thanked yours? I'm proud to be a future educator (an English educator at that), and yes, I know that the pay isn't superb, but to watch the future generation excel is worth all the downsides.
To all my past educators: thank you for teaching me. To all of my future educators: I promise to work hard in your class, because I know that one day I'll use what you've taught me (even the math). Finally, to all of my future "kids": I hope that one day, I can be your 'Mrs. Dean' and that you'll come to know your passion as I have thanks to an educator who put in a little extra time for me.