Becoming a member of the teaching staff is the dream for many future educators. Here student teachers discuss their career motivations and ambitions.
Getting Where I’m Going
by Abigail Byers
My motivation stems from my burning desire and passion for my future profession. There is nothing that makes me feel more at home and more fulfilled than when I am in a Special Education classroom, and I know it is going to be the profession for me.
On a deeper level, this motivation goes further than just the job: I want to reach each child, and impact them. I don’t just want to teach, I want to connect.
The kids themselves and their needs are a constant driving force that keeps me motivated to get where I need to be to help them. I know that each thing I have done, do now, and will continue to do will create the path towards that goal. Anytime I don’t want to write that English paper, or study for the many exams, I remember why I’m doing what I’m doing and how it will determine whether or not I get to have my classroom someday. I know that the work and pushing will pay off when I am walking into my classroom someday to make a difference.
The other thing that keeps me moving towards my goal is my music. Whenever I feel unmotivated or stuck, I can play my guitar and I suddenly have new ideas and am refilled. Even listen to music gives me an extra push.
My parents also are a huge part of the process. They can tell if I’m feeling down or unsure, and they remind me who I am and what I am made to do. For that I am thankful.
I have many reasons to do what I do, and to get where I’m going. This essay has allowed me to reflect and recognize the most prominent of those things.
by Julie Anderson
My long-time goal has been to become a teacher, and this year I’m in a class called Teachers for Tomorrow, where I get to shadow a kindergarten teacher. Working with her and the students has increased my interest in children with special needs.
From here on out, I want to support my students in academics and other parts of their lives so I can help them learn, grow, and succeed. I know that children need a strong start to their school career because the first few years of school are crucial; this is when students begin to love or hate learning itself. Whether or not children enjoy school, they deserve to appreciate learning. Students who love learning will always want to improve themselves.
I will make an effort to provide a loving environment where each child can prosper. However, for students with special needs, this task becomes even harder to accomplish because traditional classrooms are usually set up for non-disabled students. While I know I can’t “save” every student I teach, and some of them will still hate learning, at least I can start them off right.
When I’m swamped with schoolwork, I will imagine my future students and how I could influence their lives. Even though not all of my college classes will relate to my major, forming a habit of working hard in college will help me to succeed as a future teacher.
Dan Brown: Customized Learning
Dan Brown’s TEDx talk on the flexible future of education.
For My Daughter
by Emma Lillard-Geiser
I have always known that I would become two things: a mother and a teacher. What I didn’t know is that I would become the mother before the teacher. Having a child that depends on me is what fuels my desire to succeed in life. When I get frustrated with my studies I take a deep breath, look at my daughter, and know that I have reason to persevere. I know that one hour of studying will give me hours with my daughter as soon as I am done.
My mother is a teacher and growing up I cherished learning from her. She had knowledge that I admired and I quickly realized that I had to spend my whole life learning. I love to learn, to have that light go off in my head when it all just clicks.
I cannot wait to see that light in the eyes of my daughter and my future students. For every thing that I learn, is another thing I can teach someone else. It isn’t easy to study when you have a small child to take care of but I know that my education will provide me with the ability to take care of her for the rest of our lives.
Be The Teacher I Never Had
by Tamara Vega
The thing that motivates me the most is the thought of having my own classroom someday. I want to be the teacher that changes a child’s life, inspires them to set high goals for themselves and encourages them to reach it.
College can be so hard at times and I get really anxious and scared. I worry about not passing my classes and exams, I worry about not getting my degree. Despite that I do not give up because I have to do this and I want to do this.
I cannot see myself doing anything else besides teaching, I have never been this passionate about something. I want to graduate and get my degree. I’d love to look at it and say, “I worked hard for this and I earned it”.
The idea that the students in my classroom could grow up to cure cancer, or become president, pretty much anything they want, brings me so much excitement. I want to be the teacher that they remember, the one who helped them realize their dream and who gave them the knowledge needed to reach it.
Be the teacher that I needed as a child but unfortunately never had. That is what gets me through all the stress and anxiety, I know in my heart that all the studying I’m doing right now will be worth it in the end.
For the Kids
by Hanna Halliar
If I can make an impact in just one child’s life, I will be able to consider myself successful. That is my motivation. As a future educator, what else would it be?
Every day that is spent in class, the late nights at the library, the endless hours of studying are all just steps getting me closer to the goal. When I am still up at 1 a.m. struggling to keep my eyes open, but only half way through my 6 page paper I remember how excited I am to work with my own students one day.
To me, being a teacher is so much more than the typical response most people have towards education majors. “Oh, you’re going to be a teacher. You know how much you will make?” Yes, I’m aware that I will be making an average of $50,000 a year in Indiana.
To me being a teacher means that I get the opportunity to not only teach my students math, English, and science but to teach life lessons that will stick with them as well. It means walking into school every day being the reason my students look forward to coming to school. It means being surrounded by crafts, books, and music and not being stuck in an office. It means educating our future generation. And if somebody has to do it, it should be somebody who is passionate about it.
So what motivates me to study? It is so simple, it is the kids.
Educating the Future
by Alana Ratliffe
My ultimate goal is to become an elementary school teacher. My passion is working with children and seeing them mature.
At age 13, I started babysitting. When you’re that young, you only babysit for the money or because your mother forced you to. For me, I babysat because I genuinely enjoyed it. Whenever parents asked me how much I charge for babysitting, I would tell them $0. They would always look at me like I was crazy, but that’s just the type of person I am.
Going into my freshman year at Howard University, I was a broadcast journalism major because I wanted to be a sports reporter. After my freshman year ended and I went back home and started babysitting again, I realized that broadcast journalism was not for me. At the beginning of my sophomore year, I changed my major to elementary education and got involved in a tutoring program where I tutor a 5th grade boy.
I am truly excited to positively impact the new generation. When things get tough during school, I always think of my dream of having my own classroom full of students.