Why I Want To Be A Teacher

I’ve always had a gift for reading people, and because of this I have usually been able to see when someone looks down on my desire to be a teacher. It’s something that I guess I will have to get used to in the coming years. The signs are almost always the same: the raised eyebrows, the slight moment of pity, the raised inflection of voice that tries to mask their amusement. I get it. Teaching isn’t the most glamorous job. But the feeling of pretentiousness I get from some people about teaching as a profession has always perplexed me. It’s as if they’ve forgotten that they’d still be misspelling their name with crayons if it weren’t for their teachers, but I digress. I hate the idea that many people have that many teachers are teachers because they failed at something more lucrative, but what amuses me is that many of the people who hold these opinions are often doing the least fulfilling work in their own lives.

I was once talking to a girl at a social function. At such things you ask what people do for a living, which is what I did in this situation. It’s the standard social operating procedure. She smiled behind her free coffee from the hospitality desk and said “Graphic design.” I nodded as if she was the only graphic design person I’d ever met and expressed interest (I’m generally a polite person). When she asked me what I do for a living I said was working towards becoming a teacher.

“Oh. Well, that’s nice!” she said, poorly hiding her amusement. “Aren’t there far more, like, stimulating things you could pursue? Why do you want to be a teacher? You could do so many more fulfilling things.”

I did my best to hide my annoyance, so after giving a polite and vague answer, I moved on through the function. Since that time, that exchange has stuck with me, not just for the general snobbery of her attitude, but for the question she left me with. “Why do you want to be a teacher?” If she ever reads this, here’s my answer:

  • I want to be a teacher because I find the belittlement of intelligence insulting.
  • I want to be a teacher because I hate it when kids call themselves stupid. You’re not stupid. You’re lazy and you haven’t discovered what you’re capable of yet.
  • I want to be a teacher because I want to help kids realize what they are capable of.
  • I want to be a teacher because I know this upcoming generation has more in them than flat-billed hats, YOLO, swag, and selfies.
  • I want to be a teacher so I can see someone’s vocabulary move beyond what they read on Facebook.
  • I want to be a teacher so I can show kids the common thread of narrative structure throughout literature and how something written 400 years ago can affect your life today.
  • I want to be a teacher because I believe thinking critically helps you enjoy the things you love even more.
  • I want to be a teacher so kids will realize that they feel bad instead of badly and that things are going well and not good.
  • I want to be a teacher so I can hopefully inspire a girl to refuse to play dumb just to get a guy.
  • I want to be a teacher to erase the phrase “dumb jock” from every athlete’s vocabulary.
  • I want to be a teacher so I can use a red pen to conduct surgery on a paper and see it come back better than before.
  • I want to be a teacher because I love explaining things and seeing the wheels turn inside their heads.
  • I want to be a teacher and show kids that being smart isn’t a death sentence to your social life.
  • I want to be a teacher because I feel like students need positive role models.
  • I want to be a teacher because I know that for every stereotype I hear about “kids these days” being uncaring and unmotivated, there are kids who will prove you wrong.
  • I want to be a teacher because I want to challenge kids to think for themselves, and then be persuasive enough to convince others to do the same.
  • I want to be a teacher to see a student realize that the written word and well thought out arguments are far more effective than shouting louder than the other guy.
  • I want to be a teacher so I can prove that the book is almost ALWAYS better than the movie.
  • I want to be a teacher so I can be surprised by the quietest kid in the room giving the most profound answer to a question.
  • I want to be a teacher because I think reading is vital to your life and the more you read the better of a person you can become.
  • I want to be a teacher in the hope that kids will talk about things besides celebrities and TV at parties.
  • I want to be a teacher because I believe you will be able to speak well if you can write well.
  • I want to be a teacher to see the light bulb of inspiration turn on in a kid’s mind.
  • I want to be a teacher so I can witness a student rise above what people expect of them.
  • I want to be a teacher so I can see a kid’s face light up when they get their grade back.
  • I want to be a teacher so I can hopefully inspire someone half as much as many of my teachers inspired me.
  • I want to be a teacher because teachers matter whether you realize it or not.
  • I want to be a teacher because if I make a difference in one kid’s life, then I’ve done my job.

That’s why I want to be a teacher. 

 
 
image via http://www.eve.com.mt/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/deadpoet.jpg

1 Comment

  1. Nicole says:

    These are some of the exact reasons I became a teacher!

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s