Today, a question was posed to #sd36learn on Twitter. It was "Why did you become an educator? What legacy do you want to leave? This question was posed as a blogging assignment so here goes:
I didn't always want to be an educator, although I think in some ways I couldn't have been anything else. Growing up, I LOVED school. I loved homework, I loved studying, I loved learning new things, and I loved school supplies! Once I was in high school, I was already tutoring students in lower grades, and volunteering my time for coaching and leading activities that I was passionate about at lower levels. My parents, both teachers, kept pushing me to be a teacher, but I always said there was no way! I saw the politics, how much of a fight it was to get the public to see teaching as something other than babysitting. It can be such thankless job sometimes, and I saw how disheartened my parents would get at times (usually during the bargaining of contracts).
At university, I took my love for school and I couldn't seem to focus on an area I liked the most. I pretty much have the first 3 years (at least) of all topics. I wondered what I could possibly do in life where I could use all of these loves: English, science, art, music, drama, physical activity, kinesiology, history, etc.; most careers would only allow you to utilize a few of these. After awhile I realized that the only thing that would allow this, was teaching, and I knew that I would be good at this because I LOVED learning! I wanted to share this love of learning with others and hopefully inspire some of them to love learning and become life-long learners themselves.
I have never regretted my choice of being a teacher. I have regretted the amount of student loans I owe, but never my choice. I love that I can act silly sometimes. I love that every day I am greeted by 28 smiling faces. I love that I get to share my love of books and reading; it makes me so happy to hear, "Miss Ling, I love this book". I love that I laugh every day; sometimes with my students, sometimes at them. Let's face it, kids are so funny. I love that whenever I learn something new, I can share it. I remember when I learned how to multiply using a lattice. I went to school and said to them, "Omigoodness you are going to LOVE what I am going to teach you today; it is the coolest thing!" Pretty sure, they thought I was crazy, but some of them loved that technique of multiplying. I love that I can get kids excited about stuff. I even had a kid be excited about running lines (suicides), now I thought HE was crazy. But overall, I love that I wake up every day wanting to go to work!
I hope my students remember a class where they had fun while learning. I hope they are inspired to read and take risks. I hope they have learned their strengths and how to utilize these to be successful. I hope they have learned to stand up for their convictions and to follow their hearts, not the crowd. I hope my students learn to be kind to everyone, not just their friends. But most of all I hope that my students remember my class as being one where they were cared about. I truly love my students. Once you are in my class, I consider you mine. I have been so lucky to be able to form relationships with families; I have kept in touch with many, and their parents share their kids with me. Since I can't have children of my own, the bonds with these families touch my heart. I feel so blessed to get to see these amazing kids grow up and reach their potential. My first class is graduating this year, and I am so proud of them!