By- Angela Padrón
Being a teacher isn’t going to make anyone rich—but it is one of the most rewarding careers on the planet. A teacher can have a huge impact on a child’s life, and to see a child progress and grow is something that brings great joy to teachers.
So why teach? Here’s why I do it:
1. I make a difference – As a teacher, I can positively influence a child’s way of thinking or doing. Essentially, I can be the positive influence in their lives.
2. I can inspire – I can help students build self-esteem and believe in themselves and their ability to learn, no matter their background or abilities.
3. I can mentor a child – Children sometimes need someone to look up to and to aspire to be like. A teacher can help guide a child down the right path in life—one that will lead to the greatest successes.
4. I experience a diverse world – Students can come to school from various socio-economic statuses, ethnic backgrounds, disabilities, and abilities. This keeps me grounded and helps me to develop empathy for all children.
5. I can care for those less fortunate – There are many children who come to school unfed and poor. It’s up to us teachers to let them know that someone cares for their education as well as for their health and well-being.
6. I can be a life-long learner – Teachers are required to take professional development courses in order to renew their certificate periodically. Being an educator allows me to keep learning and growing in knowledge.
7. I can encourage children to dream – Dreams lead to big ideas—which can lead to innovations and changes for the future. A teacher can inspire kids to think beyond their comfort zones and challenge them to reach their fullest potential.
8. I live with a deep sense of purpose – As a teacher, I believe I have a reason for doing what I’m doing. It helps bring value and meaning to my life.
9. I want to ignite the spark of learning – There are many students who say they hate school because it’s boring. I want to spark their interest and help them understand that they are smart and capable of learning, no matter their ability.
10. To prove that one person can make a difference – I can’t teach every child in the world—but I can make a difference for the ones that I do teach. The impact I have on their lives can stay with them throughout their years of schooling and beyond.
When I first began teaching, I only thought about teaching my students and what impact I could have on them. As I’ve grown older and more experienced, I’ve realized that I want to change the educational system completely. I hope to influence other teachers to be as passionate about teaching as I am, and I want to influence lawmakers to make policy that will be in the best interest of teachers and children. As teachers, we are on the front lines and have the greatest effect on children. It’s an awesome responsibility—one that I will always be willing to accept.