Why I Want to Teach (Installment One)

I'm so nervous, have I told you how nervous I am? I'm starting on Monday, student teaching, that is. Not actually teaching, yet, helping set up the classroom and what not. And I'm so nervous. It makes my heart feel all bubbly thinking about it, and I'm not sure it's a pleasant bubbly.

In a meeting a few months ago, we were advised to write down WHY we're going to teach, because when student teaching starts, it was going to get hard to remember, and we'd find ourselves wondering what we were doing, and getting up and going to school in the morning would be that much harder.

Well, it's Friday, and I start Monday, so I need to write this, I guess.

Why do I want to teach?

Clearly not for the money. But no one does. Teaching is one of those strange occupations where nearly everyone in the field does it because they feel it's their life calling. I've considered studying other topics, but every time I felt myself going back to teaching. Maybe music? No, music teaching. Maybe science? No, science teaching. Maybe math? No, math teaching. And in the end, all that I wanted to do was teach. I can't do EVERYTHING. I can't be a doctor and a politician and an artist and a great scientist, but what I can do is give others the tools they need to do that. I can create great doctors and politicians and scientists and artists.

I had great teachers growing up. I'm so blessed to have had only amazing teachers. It's far easier to count the teachers that weren't great, because almost all of them were great. I feel it's my duty to give back what was given to me. What was given was an excitement to learn. Through being excited to teach, I will be able to create children who are excited to learn. To learn art, reading, science, and yes, math, children who are excited to learn math. Because these things are exciting to me. Because I have been given much, I too must give.

And then there's the children. I want to teach because I want to be a friend to those who need a friend. I want to be a force that will stop bullying. I want to make children work hard but find worth in their work. I want them to be sad to leave my class but excited to find out what's out there.

I want to teach because it's what I've been doing these last two years, and I've never felt more fulfilled in my life than I do when working with young children. There is so little that lights me up more than getting them to smile, than knowing I'm making a difference in their lives. There's nothing I want more than to make a difference. I want to teach because no matter how hard it is, how broken I may feel at points, I am making a difference.

There really is nothing else I want to do. Nothing else in the world could fulfill me as much as teaching does. So though it may get hard, I'm going to keep going. After 132 days in the classroom, I'll be done. And things will be amazing.

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