I am an elementary education major. Yes that’s right, I am going to school so that I can be in school for the rest of my life. I couldn’t be more excited about the idea of waking up everyday and knowing that I am going to have an impact on students like my teachers had an impact on me. However, I am not naïve. I understand that there are some people who don’t believe that being an education major is worth it.
To those who say I take the easy classes: I am sure that some of our classes are easier than your Calc 4480 class. Want to know why? Because when you were in 3rd grade, you weren’t learning upper level calculus. You were learning the basic skills needed so that someday you could be in an upper level calculus class. Our classes teach us to learn and teach us to teach, and that is not always an easy feat. We learn how to teach students in multiple ways so that no matter what, they can understand the content. We take a full course load plus placements in schools. We not only have to learn the material for all subjects, but we have to learn how to teach that material to students with and without learning disabilities. This is why teachers are professional multi-taskers, and boy do we take pride in it.
To those who say I will not make any money: You are right. I will not make any money. But does that not further justify that if I am called to do it, I should take that calling seriously because I know it is not out of my own ambition? It has nothing to do with money and everything to do with passion. God knew that by placing this in my heart, I would be able to stay passionate about my job and work wouldn’t be work. I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with choosing a job based on pay, but what I am saying is to go with what brings you joy.
To those who say I will be burned out after 2 years: First of all, if you aren’t doing something you love, you could be burned out in any profession. But second of all, oh my, how you doubt me. If you have ever worked with children, you find out that their energy can be contagious. The joy of seeing a student understand a concept for the first time is addicting. Most of us in the major have worked with students previously in many types of settings, so we have an idea of what we are getting into.
To those who say the education system is messed up: Yes, yes it is. But isn’t that even more of a reason to become a teacher? The system will never change if we don’t fuel the change with teachers with a vision for education and a heart for serving students over standardized test scores. We can be change, one bulletin board at a time.
To those who will join me in the field of education: Isn’t this going to be so much fun? I am sure that you also get excited by stickers, sand art, and phonics as much as I do. So many people wish that they could go back to their youth, and we will be paid to do it! Teachers get to see their influence immediately in the classroom, and every day is a new and exciting day. "Teaching To Change Lives" by Howard Hendricks is an incredible book that any teacher should read. It reminded me that we need to awaken the curiosity in students and always leave them wanting to learn more about a subject. Teaching is a spiritual gift (Romans 12:6-8), and if God has called you to it, He will equip you for it.