Living the dream to become a teacher

My dream is to become a teacher. If you have this dream, you're not alone. Here's a collection of short essays by aspiring teachers.

Current and future education students were asked to describe their motivation; what inspires them to succeed at their teacher training studies.

As well as these 10 essays, you can see more writing collections from future educators. Additional student essays are available on the themes of:

Embracing Diversity in the Classroom

by Jennamarie Moody

When I close my eyes, I picture myself in a school located in an urban setting, teaching a classroom of diverse yet alike students. These students are in the second grade, meaning that they are impressionable yet vulnerable to their environment whether this means at home, at school, or in their greater community.

Some of these students don’t speak English as their first language, and some come from low-income households that can limit their educational experiences outside of the classroom. And yet, no matter what differences these students bring to the table, their uniqueness flows throughout the classroom in such a positive energy that embraces, respects, and promotes learning. This is the goal I am working towards; the goal of inspiring our youth to become self-advocates for their learning.

Opportunities for equal educational experiences may not exist, however the beauty lies in the growth of love young students can develop as they are challenged in the classroom to question their surroundings. I plan to make a difference in the lives of the children I meet along the way, and to create a safe learning environment.

Although the tests for certification and studies can be difficult, my passion for education and dedication to shaping the lives of my students is what keeps me going. The end goal is to nurture the development of my students to become active and engaged participants in society, and that is what I intend to do completely.

The Future of Children's Education

by Lesley Martinez-Silva

I aspire to make a difference in others’ lives through education. I’m studying to be an elementary school teacher because I believe that children can achieve so much more if they learn early of their potential.

Education has always been my priority. My parents always stressed the importance of obtaining an education, having missed that opportunity themselves. My parents taught me as a child that schooling was vital to success in life. Truly, that lesson has been the most important in my path to college. I don’t think I would’ve made it this far had I not taken my education seriously.

I want to teach others about the importance of education so they too can prosper. Everything I’m learning at university is important for my future career and, if I don’t study it, I’m failing my future students. Every child deserves the best education available and I should strive to be the best educator possible to provide that for them. When balancing academics, work, and my social life, it can get challenging to keep going. But, with the future of children’s education in my hands, I always get back on track.

I Dream for My Students

by Nicole Gongora

The dream of success motivates me to study. Not my success, my future students’ success. I push myself through the rough spots for them.

I was a lost child in high school; I didn’t know how to apply to college, let alone afford it. No child should have to experience that. As a future educator, I am committed to helping my students succeed, achieve more, and continue onto higher education. Every child should be given the opportunity to showcase their strengths and follow their dreams.

College was never a dream for me; it was a far off, unattainable fantasy. I met some inspiring teachers in high school who encouraged me to change my life and who helped me to thrive. Without them, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

I plan to work at a low-income school similar to the one I attended. These types of schools are the ones who lack resources. I will serve as a resource to my students and I hope to be an inspiration to them. In turn, I hope they become kind, respectful adults. I want them to see the virtue in helping others and I hope they will serve others in their future careers. I want to be the teacher they remember. I want to be the teacher that helped them succeed.

I'll feel successful as a teacher if my students are successful in attaining their goals. If one student decides to achieve more then I will have lived out my dream.

"Mo"tivated

by Mo Cabiles

The world we live in is hard, unsteady and ruthless. We see this everyday in the harshness of homelessness, to social media screaming for justice. What motivates me to continue on is that I have felt the bitter cold bite of homelessness. I know what it’s like to not have enough to eat and to be scared of what will happen next.

I am fortunate to no longer be in those situations but that, by no means, is an indicator that it will all now come easy. As an adult learner and your “non-traditional” student, there are other obstacles I must overcome. From transportation to childcare or education application mastery to APA formatting, the many roadblocks I tackle both large and small are what I consider to be my victories.

I've seen what having a higher education can do for someone and I want that for myself and that of my daughters. I strive to be a good example for them, to show them that, regardless of social standing and unforeseeable circumstances, if they work hard and put their best effort forward, they can achieve their dreams.

My dream is to obtain my Masters in Education with an emphasis in counseling, I want to be an academic advisor or guidance counselor. I’ve seen so many youths attempt community college and fail because they fell through the cracks. These students need to realize their potential and I want to help them achieve that and to be their cheerleader.

Doubt and Dreams

by Katheryn England

As a high school senior, many people assume I’m prepared for college and know what I want to study after graduation. These assumptions cause me to experience moments of self-doubt. Then I re-evaluate what I want for myself, and what it is that keeps me working towards my dreams. Through the goals I’ve set for myself, I can maintain focus, move past my self-doubt and succeed. By focusing on my goals, I can make a difference in the world directly around me.

A goal I have in my life is to be an elementary teacher. As a teacher, I can share the knowledge I’ve gained to leave behind a better future for our world. Last year, I had the opportunity to work alongside a previous elementary teacher and mentor of mine. I’d visit her classroom daily, and taught lessons alongside her or independently. Uniquely, they were the opening act in my high school’s original winter play. They read firsthand from our scripts and learned what happens behind the scenes. Showing a new part of the world to the youth of my community has motivated me to pursue my dreams.

Remembering this experience and the positive influence I had on those students helps me overcome self-doubt and stay focused on my goals. Thanks to the goals I’ve set for my life, I not only can find purpose for my efforts, but find the will to be confident in whatever choices I make.

One Person

by Megan Burns

My ultimate goal is to change the lives of people. Studying to be a teacher is hard. All of the classes that are required, all of the practicums, and all of the time spent just to become a teacher is stressful, but the thought of being able to help just one person changes everything.

It takes one person to be a light in someone's life. It take one person to be a helping hand. It takes one person to change an unmotivated, broken life, and make it brand new. Teachers are those people. We motivate students to do their best, we guide students to success when no one else will, and we are always available to listen. One teacher can change the lives of thousands of students. That is my motivation.

I know that after college, I will be a teacher, a guider, a counselor, and a friend to so many students. No matter how many bad days I have or how many times I want to quit, I just think of what is to come in the future. I can be that change this world needs, even if its in a small high school classroom. It just takes one person.

The Road Not Taken

by Jenyfer Pegg

My entire life has been filled with discouragement. I grew up in a household where I was constantly told "No". I was told my ideas were stupid and would not work. In my junior year of high school, my teachers and counselors started talking about college and sending in applications to different places. At that point, I knew I was not going. I came from a poor family and I knew we could never have money for something like college.

But I went on college visits, I listened to people speak about their college, and I was set. I had a lot of things pushing me, except the one thing I really wanted, my family. No one in my family has gone to college, and when I told my mother, she was shocked. She told me she just wanted me out of the house.

When I came to school, I realized I wanted to teach high school. I want to make an actual difference in someone else’s life. My family has taken the same road for years, and I’m not going down that road. I won’t live paycheck to paycheck like my mom, I will be a person that others will look up to.

I’m going to do something worthwhile, and I will work harder than anyone else if it gets me there. I’ve seen what my life will be like without school and motivation and there is absolutely no way I’m going down that road. I’ve got bigger plans.

The Refugee Students

by Robbie Watson

My road to graduate school has been a long one. I studied religion and culture in undergrad, interested in the material, yet not sure how I would apply it later. Yet I found places, got involved in community and international development, engaged with different cultures, and now feel I use my degree every day.

For over two years I worked alongside Congolese refugees in Rwanda, developing educational opportunities for youths who could not finish secondary school in the underfunded camps. It is these refugees, young and old, the students, the teachers, their passion and vision for a better future that has driven me to seek out more education for myself. I remember how they would pay from their families' meager funds to attend classes led by volunteer teachers. When finances were against them, or time, or family obligations, or the dire depression of the camp life itself, or even government officials were against them, still those students attended, still those teachers taught.

It is their example of perseverance towards a goal against all odds that inspires me now. I think of them often, think of the friends they were, are still. And I think of how that passion is in me now, to better understand education so that I might better educate, and thus equip such downtrodden communities to work for transformation themselves. I work not only for myself, and am motivated by the potential in those students and educators, which is also in me, and in others like them.

Educational Success

by Ian T Thomason

While attending the University of Minnesota-Mankato, I have aspirations of becoming a Special Education Teacher. Becoming a Special Education Teacher and helping students who have a need for extra help and students who are having troubles with everyday life are things that I dream of doing. I was in their shoes once and know how difficult it is to deal with everyday life and how nice it was have a teacher to talk to.

Becoming a Special Education Teacher is my ultimate goal and, when difficult times arise, I have to remind myself of the children out there who have it potentially worse than I. When I remember this, I also think back to all of the support that I had from my parents, family members, and teachers. I also know that there are lots of children who don’t have this type of support and, if I can be there for them, that would make my career choice all the more worth it.

My Special Education degree is something more than just a degree for me. It is a degree that allows me to help children improve their education. I realize that children are our future and that their minds are terrible things to waste. So, instead of wasting their minds, why not put our best foot forward to educate them? My dream is to help kids realize their full potential, promote education and a brighter future for every child.

Morning Message

by Savannah Stamates

I lay awake at night and practice my first morning message to my first round of students whom I will not meet for more than a year.

I wonder if I will have hungry children, happy children, or broken children. I wonder if I will be good enough or strong enough to reach those most in need. I wonder if my students will trust me enough to tell me that they are hungry, happy, or scared.

I worry that I will not be strong enough to share their burden or provide a place for peace and learning. I worry that I will misread their actions or their words or miss them reaching out.

So I study, even when I am tired from working two jobs or sick of not being where I want to be. When my time comes to walk into that classroom, my worries and doubts will be silenced by the knowledge I have mastered and the dream I have finally achieved.