In today’s society, we always seem to find more pleasure complaining about something than we do enjoying something. I don’t know if the bad makes our lives that much more interesting, or it is a competition to see who is having a worse day than the next person. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve gotten trapped in the “whoa is me” one too many times. And I can’t help thinking to myself…why?
I can’t help but think back to the end of my first year in University – I had just decided that I wanted to transfer into Education. I was pumped, ecstatic, jumping through the ROOF! I could not wait to go back home to tell everyone the good news – past teachers who I have looked up to for years, my friends, old co-workers. I was finally making my passion of helping children a reality. I don’t have any teachers in my family – I didn’t hear the inside scoop of what teaching was all about. All I knew was that this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
I remember walking into my old high school to watch my younger brother play volleyball, and I saw many of my past teachers – elementary and high school. They came up to me with arms open wide, excited to hear what I had been doing for the past year at University. They were gleaming as I talked to them about my year in Radiology, telling me they knew that I was going to be successful….but then I told them that I changed…”A Doctor?” they asked. “Optometrist? Nurse?”. The looks on their faces when I told them I transferred to Education was the face you give someone after you pick a booger in front of them and eat it.
Then they gave it to me. They couldn’t believe that I would waste all my brains and talents on teaching. These people, who I have looked up to for years for all their hard work and commitment to myself as a student, an athlete, a musician — All those memories flushed away by those few words. I thought they loved their jobs – they are one of the main reasons that I wanted to become a teacher.
They told me that teaching would be the most difficult thing in my life — that the benefits didn’t outweigh the bad. I was worried..did I make the right decision? Maybe I should stay in Radiology. I don’t want a career that makes me seem like a waste.
And now I’ve experienced it – the hardships, the stress, the hopelessness – and I’m not even in my internship yet. But in this short time I have realized that there is more than that…. I’ve experienced passion, friendship, aha moments, laughter, memories, growth, and love. I have no doubt in my mind that teaching will be the most difficult thing I have ever done in my life. However, I also know that it will be the easiest thing, because I love what I’m doing. Teaching is my passion.
To those who told me that I made a mistake – stop pouring sour milk into my cereal. Stop making me see everything as a limitation and start seeing it as a journey. As a profession, we need to stop focusing on what makes our job sour. As with any career, there are days that you will want to quit – I’ve already had a few and I’m not ashamed to say it. There are those days – however, if we continue to let those negative thoughts run through our heads and drown out the good moments then it will be an awful experience for us until the last day that we hear that school bell ring.
As a society, we should be proud that there are people out there who want to become part of the school system to make a change – to be an advocate for student learning. Just as proud as we are for nurses who want to help those in need, or firefighters who risk their lives everyday. Every job is only as perfect as you let it be.
Today, I am proud to call myself an educator. I have had an amazing opportunity to grow alongside 29 other individuals with the same aspirations as my own, and I cannot wait to see where my journey continues. I am still pumped, ecstatic, and jumping through the ROOF! Because I have the most rewarding experiences of my life right ahead of me.