I wish I could count on one hand the number of times I’ve received a negative reaction from people when I tell them that I want to be a teacher some day.
These reactions range from the normal concerns, “Oh I could never have the patience for that,” or “Ugh that doesn’t pay much,” to the LOUSY comments, “You want to deal with attitudes?” or (my favorite), “Wow, you are WAY too smart for that.”
And I think to myself, “Whoa, does society really think that a smart teacher is a bad thing?”
Because it’s not.
Students need to be taught by the best of the best if we want to see changes in our world for the better. The youth of our society are literally our future, as cliché as that sounds.
We live in such a tumultuous world, full of prejudice, inequality, destruction and despair. And, as much as the optimists, like me, try to emphasize the good, the ones who constantly complain about our world’s flaws seem to outnumber us.
This is where education becomes the most effective weapon to battle the malignity that surrounds us.
And let it be clear that an education is much more than just learning the alphabet, writing thesis statements and simplifying polynomials—it’s learning about character, values, safety, independence and tolerance. It’s learning to become a better human—one who fulfills his or her potential, contributes to the world and successfully cultivates happiness.
It is through education that this world can begin to take steps forward, instead of steps back.
I dream of the day where I can say that I contributed to the education of the next generation’s most innovative engineers, meticulous lawyers or successful entrepreneurs; the most compassionate activists, motivated athletes or successful authors.
I dream of the day where I can be a student’s best hope.
This is my aim—to show our youth that they can become someone bigger than themselves, that their history does not have to dictate their future, and that they have the power to create a better tomorrow for themselves and for others.
I recognize that teaching as a career may not be as glamorous and as high-paying as other professions, but it surely is one of the most crucial to our outcome as a society.
I realize that some of you may have had a “bad” or “incompetent” teacher in the past, but I assure you that for every one of those, there are much more exceptional and passionate educators out there, inspiring students to become their best.
Thankfully, another thing I can’t count on one hand is the number of wonderful teachers who have contributed immensely to my sense of purpose, my passions and my success. I strive to be just like one of you someday.