When I tell people that I'm an Elementary Education major, a common response is "Oh, so you must really like kids huh?" Honestly, yes, I do love kids, but that's not the only reason why I'm pursuing a career in education. Teaching goes so far beyond liking my students or the age group I work with.
My main goal in becoming a teacher is to educate the future of our society and to cater to any of their specific needs. The grade level doesn't matter because I genuinely desire to care for and mentor any student that comes into my classroom, regardless of their age or how irritating they may be. If you think about it, one day our whole world will be run by people that are only children right now, and without teachers, it would be somewhat of a disaster. Society is built on education and how qualified people are, so preparing young generations to grow into well educated members of their communities must begin early.
Many people consider going to school a chore, and that generally creates a lot of distrust in teachers. Kids almost always either fall in love with their teachers or view them as the "bad guy" that disciplines them. I want my students to look at me as an ally so that I can more efficiently educate them not only scholastically but also mentally. I love seeing happy, healthy kids run up to their teachers in stores to greet them, and that is what I want to see out of my own kids.
While all these reasons are so important, I think my biggest motivators in pursuing an education degree is my own experience with teaching. When I was younger, I spent a lot of time mentoring and teaching my little sister when I wasn't in school myself. Watching her grow and mature through the years has encouraged me and developed a huge love for teaching and kids in general. It pushed me to take a job at an after school center last school year, which really solidified my desire to become a teacher myself. Throughout the year, I got to watch the kids grow up and learn so much, and seeing them grasp concepts that they previously struggled with brought me so much joy.
I cannot wait to land my first teaching job, even if it's not in my preferred town or age group. To see the things I've only briefly experienced daily as my means of living is honestly a dream come true. Who knows where the future of education could take me!