Saturday, October 5, 2013

Happy World Teacher Day!

Long post ahead...
On this day that is meant to celebrate amazing teachers all over the world, I find myself reflecting on my {short} career so far, why I became and teacher, and my hopes for my future.  At a time when teaching morale is at an all time low and teachers are pouring their hearts and souls into their jobs with higher stakes, more testing, and little thanks, it is now; more than ever, that we need to remember exactly why we decided to become teachers.  Being a teacher is not a job, it's a calling. And despite what many people say, not everyone can do it.  It takes a special kind of person to touch a childs heart and help them learn about the world around them while simultaneously supporting 19, 20, 25, maybe even 30 other little learners.  And while you may be feeling downing, thinking "Why am I doing this?" or maybe even thinking about leaving.. I want to remind you that you are appreciated, because we all need to know that what we are doing is changing lives for the better!
So what's my story? Why did I become a teacher?  Well, unlike most teachers.. I didn't always know I wanted to be a teacher.  Growing up I had my heart set on saving animals {don't most kids?}  Even through highschool, while I wasn't totally sure, I stuck with my "dream".  I had been accepted {early admission} to the veterinarian program at SUNY Oneonta.  Throughout my senior year; however, my heart just wasn't in it.  I hate needles {I practically pass out when I get a shot}, how was I going to poke animal will them?  Surgery? Forget it.  Dreams need to change.   So they did {to another dream I always had- a girl can have more than one, right?}.  Something else I was always very fond of was music.  I was in my highschool symphonic band, jazz ensemble, and chorus all 4 years of highschool.  I took music theory and spent almost my entire senior year in the music room.  It's what made me happy.  I am a HUGE fan of country music and had dreamed of going to Nashville, finding the next big country star, and being their manager.  Well- I went off to school and ended up HATING my music business classes. Plus, it was a really hard career to get into.  What were my chances?  Ok- why don't I be a music TEACHER?  Great- it's settled.  Music teacher.  Well- guess what? That didn't make me happy either.  Luckily I found this all out within my first year when I was taking mostly core classes, so no lost time.  Then, there were some things that helped me realize that teaching elementary school kids was my calling.
Clue #1- I've always loved kids.  I was my neighborhood babysitter, coached baseball with my dad and cheerleading with my mom.  I was born to be a mom (So why no kids yet? Well that's another story). 
Clue #2- One night while I was sitting in my dorm room flipping channels, I ended up turning to a movie called The Ron Clark Story.  I'm sure you've heard of it and if you haven't seen it, it's a must see!  I was instantaneously pulled it and didn't take my eyes off the T.V.  I got this feeling inside that I could not describe.  I was excited and energetic.  That's what I wanted to do, I wanted to be Ron Clark.  Change kids lives.  Teach them.  Help them believe that they CAN do whatever they want and they ARE worth it.  Ron Clark helped me realize that, even though I didn't ever think about being a teacher, the desire was always inside of me.. It just took a little encouragement to come out.  He is an amazing educator who I look up to and where my desire to be amazing comes from.
Clue #3 and the icing on the cake- The Teacher Store:  My boyfriend was going to school to become a teacher.  We had made a trip down to the local teacher store with his mom to pick up some things for him and I was in heaven.  Looking at all of the books, supplies, signs, rewards, stamps, flash cards, games.. Oh.My.Word.  I already could not wait to use them in my own classroom and my head was filling with ideas.
And so it began.  My journey to becoming a teacher.  And here I am today, my 2nd year as a classroom teacher .  Sometimes questioning if I made the right decision, but then I think about all the reasons I decided to take this path and how important my job is.  Even if I do struggle to save money, fix my broken washing machine, or am took broke to have kids, I know I have my 20 little babies in my room that need me [And who I get to send home at the end of the day ;) ].
Happy World Teachers Day! Keep Changing Lives!

1 comment:

  1. I love the teacher store too!!! My friend and I used to beg our moms to take us there when we were little!! And I still love it now- I can spend hours just looking at everything, whether I buy anything or not!

    Thanks for sharing your story!
    Katie :)
    KTP: Keep Teaching and Planning!