You Don't Need A Degree To Be Considered 'Educated'

You Don't Need A Degree To Be Considered 'Educated'

But don't throw that diploma away just yet.

Education is defined as "the act or process of imparting or acquiring general knowledge, developing the powers of reasoning and judgment, and generally of preparing oneself or others intellectually for mature life." While there are secondary definitions that include the word "school," the primary definition makes no mention of it. We have been conditioned to believe that education is synonymous with school. We hear the word "education" and classes, teachers and degrees come to mind. Why is this? Do we truly know what education is?

In spite of the fact that it may feel like receiving a structured education with a degree to show for it is the norm, 62% of Americans do not have college degrees. This may boil down to a lack of access to schooling, drop-outs, etc. Whatever the reason may be, it is simply incorrect to assume that everyone has had a "proper" education. As previously stated, we have been conditioned to believe that the only education we can receive is through an institution. Living in a capitalist society, the American education system is fueled by an end goal that equates education to monetary success. But is this truly the only way to acquire the knowledge we seek?

As a future educator myself, I see and believe in the need for accessible education; I am not implying that schools are unnecessary. I am merely challenging the belief that anyone without a college degree is "uneducated." Preparing oneself for mature life is open to interpretation and doing so can manifest in an innumerable amount of ways. From a personal perspective, I have gained a multitude of knowledge about culture, social justice, art, music, literature, etc. that I would never have acquired in school. Education can come to you in so many other ways than a schooling institution, it can come with experience, time, through interactions with others, etc. Being able to understand the way this education comes to you is crucial to being able to apply it.

The willingness to let go of this preconceived notion and to open ourselves up to other avenues of knowledge can bring abundance. Traditional education is one path but it is certainly not the only one available. Let go of the judgment that people who do not receive a college degree are at a lower intellectual level than those who do. Be aware of the free education you can receive on a daily basis and what each day's experiences has to offer you. Challenge yourself and others to see past social statuses and accept people as they are

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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Yes, I Want To Be A Teacher

"You know you don't make that much money, right?"

Yes, I want to be a teacher. Yes, I know what the salary of a teacher is like. Yes, I know that people will view my future career as “easy.” No, I would not want any other job in the world.

I am sure that I am not the only future educator who has had enough with hearing all the critiques about becoming a teacher; we are tired of hearing all the negative aspects because it’s obvious that the positives will ALWAYS outweigh those judgemental negative comments.

So, why do I want to be a teacher? I am sure that I speak for many other future teachers when I say that I am not doing it for the salary, benefits, or even the summer vacation (although that is a great plus!).

I want to be a teacher because I will be able to wake up on Mondays and actually be excited. Saturday and Sunday will be a nice break to relax, but I know that I will be ready to fill up my apple-shaped mug with coffee on Monday morning and be ready for a day full of laughs and new lessons for my students for the upcoming week.

I want to be a teacher because I get to have an impact on tomorrow's leaders. No, I don’t mean that I’m predicting my future student to be the president of the United States (but, hey, that would be a pretty cool accomplishment). I mean that I have the job to help students recognize that they have the power to be a leader in and out of the classroom.

I want to be a teacher because I don’t want an easy day. Challenges are what push me to greatness and success. Although many people think teaching is an easy profession, I know that it isn’t easy. It’s very hard, every day at every moment. But it is worth it when a student finally understands that math problem that stumped them for awhile and they have a huge smile from ear to ear.

I want to be a teacher because I want to work with kids. I mean, come on, what else is greater than a kid having fun and you’re the reason why? A picture might be worth a thousand words, but a child being excited and having fun while learning is worth a million.

I want to be a teacher because I don’t want a high salary. If I really cared about making a six-figure income, I would have chosen a different profession. Teaching is not about the check that I bring home every week or two, it’s about what I learn and the memories that I make; the memories that I get to share with my family at dinner that night.

SEE ALSO: To The Teacher Who Helped Shape Me

I want to be a teacher because there is nothing else in this world that I’d rather do for the rest of my life. Sure, there may be other jobs that are rewarding in more ways. But to me, nothing can compare to the view of a classroom with little feet swinging back and forth under a desk from a student learning how to write their ABCs.

Teaching may not be seen as the perfect profession for everyone, but it is the perfect profession for me.

Cover Image Credit: TeacherPop

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