I have always loved school. Well, maybe that isn’t completely true. I loved the school part of school. I loved learning. Even now, I’m one of "those" kids in college now that actually enjoys going to class because I’m learning about what I’m going to be doing for the rest of my life. It’s weird because my professors are teaching me how to teach. I’m taken math classes where I learned how to teach math at an elementary school level, which is WAY more difficult than you would think. In another class I learned how to write lesson plans, picking and choosing from state standards for a certain grade, writing out accommodations, and somehow coming up with activities and a curriculum to last an entire class period including an introduction and a review for closure. I’ve had to learn all the behind the scenes planning and reasoning that goes into a day in a classroom, stuff that I didn't even realize existed. Teachers are incredible people.
You know the saying, “Those who can’t do teach”? Yeah, total crap. Just because you know how to do something doesn’t mean you can or should teach it. One of my friends tried to help me out in biology last year, but she could not teach to save her life. All of the concepts and vocabulary were there thanks to her Bio/Chem double major, but she could not break it down for someone who has never understood science a day in her life, aka me. Not everyone is cut out to be a teacher. You have to be creative, quick on your feet, and two steps ahead at all times. There are no off days between grading assignments and preparing for the coming weeks. You’re not allowed to get sick ever, and summer break is a blessing that is never long enough.
My dad is a teacher. So naturally when I told him I had declared a major in education he asked me one question. “Why?” I was honest, and I could only give him one answer. I am called to teach. I want to make a difference in this world, and the road I want to take is through education. I want to give kids the gift of learning that so many of my teachers presented to me throughout my time in school. I want to teach children how to read, how to write, how to do long division and the reason why things are the way they are. Education is such a powerful tool, and my heart breaks at the thought of a child missing out on the opportunity to learn. I firmly believe that teachers change lives every single day.
Some of my friends have asked me how I’m planning on living on the salary of a teacher. I honestly don’t know how to answer them. But for me, it’s not about the money. It’s never been about the money. It’s always been about the impact I could make on the life of a child. Some people have called me crazy for going into education given the current state of our school systems in Memphis. But when something is broken it deserves to be fixed, not abandoned. I already know that not every school year is going to be smooth sailing without at least sixty million bumps along the way. But I’ll learn from my mistakes and be ready for the next year of bumps and waves. There are going to be students that struggle and fall short, but the hope I already have for those that make it to graduation and eventually college already fuel my love for teaching. I’ll probably start off anxious and nervous with lots to learn. But I never want to stop learning. My dad says that he learns something new every day, and I’m willing to bet every single teacher would say the same thing. I cannot wait to be in a classroom of my own one day, then I can call myself a teacher.