I started seriously thinking about what I wanted to do with my life, concerning my career, in the 11th grade. From my junior year until my first semester in college, I was certain my purpose in life was to teach. However, people I spoke with, including some family, friends, and even schoolteachers, repeatedly crushed this choice: “Why would you want to be a teacher? Don’t you know how much they make? Why would you want to deal with bratty kids all day? Don’t you know teaching is one of the most stressful jobs you can have?” Being the naive, 17 year old that I was, I listened, and changed my career choice-3 times! I went through 2 years of computer classes to become an administrative assistant, 1 year studying law for paralegalism and 1 ½ years focusing on business management. Throughout those 4 years of unfulfilled, the idea of teaching still lingered in my head. I started asking myself why I decided teaching was not for me. I discovered that even though teaching did carry a few negative aspects, they could never come close to the positive.
For the past 5 years, I have been coaching the varsity dance team at Wood haven High School. Although there have definitely been some difficult, stressful situations, I have found the experience very rewarding. The greatest thing about coaching is the satisfaction you feel after a student succeeds in what he or she has set out to accomplish-not only physically, but also mentally. Being a coach is more than just a 9 to 5 job. It’s more than staring at a computer for 8-10 hours, not caring about the people around you or your work. This is even more apparent in teaching in a classroom 5 days a week, for as much as 7-9 hours a day. Teaching is adventurous, challenging, and exciting, because every day brings something new. As a teacher, you’re not only working for a living, you are acting as a role model to every child around you. A teacher has the chance to change a child’s life everyday.
The main element of lifelong learning is to never stop learning. One must understand that there’s no such thing as a person who knows everything. Whether one is a teacher, rocket scientist, parent, or child, a human being’s capacity to learn new things is never ending. It’s very important to encourage students to remain “students” for a lifetime. By explaining to them the importance of open-mindedness, a child can learn to value other’s opinions before making his/her own conclusions. By teaching them they have something to bring to the table, they will learn that their opinions matter, regardless of how old they are, or who they’re speaking to. By encouraging them to learn something new everyday, they will one day understand just how important lifelong learning is to their life.
In respect to other areas of study that I would like to pursue, I have recently become very interested in Eastern’s program for communication and theater arts. Although I have already chosen this program for my minor, I find myself wanting to learn more than just basic overviews given in my classes. After I graduate with my teaching degree, I plan to further my education in this area by maybe taking some classes for fun, or maybe even getting another degree.
Because I have a full time job, a coaching job, and a full workload at school, I definitely have no free time. However, I have decided to give up my coaching job at the end of this year in order to dedicate more of my time to my classes. This decision has been extremely hard for me because of how much I adore my coaching job. However, getting good grades in school, and learning how to be the best teacher I can be is of more importance. This experience has been a lifelong lesson for me, because I have learned that to achieve certain goals, one must learn how to make sacrifices.
I feel that even though I’m not perfect, I have a good head on my shoulders. I am proud of the decisions I have made in the past, and have no regrets. I am responsible, dedicated, successful, and passionate about what I do. I think my behavior will serve as a good example to my students. I can’t wait to get out into the teaching field and learn more than I ever though possible.