As teachers, we get asked this question all the time. It is often assumed that we chose teaching because of our love of kids, or because we wanted summers off, or both. Those are answers that some of us can agree with, but for the majority of us, our reasons for becoming a teacher go much deeper than that.
I wanted to be a teacher because I wanted to play a part in preparing children to be successful adults. I wanted to challenge their thinking, help them grow, and set them up for success. I want to promote independence and responsibility while teaching them to value differing opinions. I want to help them create opportunities for themselves because they have the necessary skills to be successful in whatever career they choose.
I wanted to be an English teacher because my heart breaks knowing how low America’s literacy rate is among adults. “According to the U.S. Department of Education, 54% of U.S. adults 16-74 years old – about 130 million people – lack proficiency in literacy, reading below the equivalent of a sixth-grade level.” (Sept. 2020 Forbes.com) I want to challenge that.
I believe that the kids we are teaching now can go on and do amazing things for themselves, their families, and their communities, and I want to help push them to do just that.
It is a daily challenge to remember why I do what I do, especially after a particularly frustrating day. But why I teach is important. Teachers are important, and we can all do better than we did the day before.
Let me know in the comments below!