As I lay awake in bed sick (again) I’ve found myself on a familiar topic I often wonder about. I never ever EVER wanted to be a teacher when I was younger. I wanted to change the world, inspire youth, travel, etc. Everyone I knew told me, “you’re so good with kids! Why don’t you become a teacher?” And I’d consider, “why shouldn’t I become a teacher?”
Here’s what my 17-year-old self thought:
- I’m introverted. Everyone knows teachers are extroverts.
- I can’t talk in front of a group of people without getting nervous. It’s not normal.
- My family struggles with money. Everyone studying education is wealthy (or wealthier than me) and I just wouldn’t fit in.
- I’m a minority, and all of my teacher have been white. It doesn’t work!
- I’m quirky and dorky and I’m afraid I wouldn’t be funny to my students!
Fast forward five years and I have found myself close to graduation with a degree in education. I had to work to support myself financially during college and I chose childcare… After teaching preschool I knew I loved teaching.
Here’s what I have to say now about why I SHOULD teach:
- Kids, just like me, are introverted too! Having a mix of personalities in the classroom is so important. I grew up seeing mostly extroverts as teachers ans the reality is that their personalities never clicked with me… And it’s okay!!! They clicked with other kids and that’s important. I hope to click with students who may not connect with other adults in their lives.
- If you never get nervous when you speak in front of a group you are lying! Teachers are basically performers and kids are harsh critics. It’s completely normal to get nervous (at least this is what I tell myself) and it’s true.
- My struggles will very much be relatable to my students. Money problems is my whole life and I get it. My friends have called me “poor” before – and guess what? They graduated college much faster than me and are very successful! However, I’m going to be successful, too and understandably I understand the struggle of earning what’s mine (and will hopefully be able to pass on my pearls of wisdom). Despite what people say, money is so important…but a nice personality is better!
- I look around at some schools I go in to and the teachers look nothing like the student body. In my family’s culture women don’t always go to college or work outside the home. I want it inspire girls that YES you’re smart! And YES you will make a fabulous doctor, scientist, teacher, anything! If I can pay my way through school as a minority member you can too!
- Luckily my sense of humor is on par with most students… It works!
Thanks for reading,