Thursday, November 29, 2012

Why I Want To Teach

Two days ago, I asked my readers to pose questions for me to answer. That post and their questions can be found here. Rachel of When a Lion Sleeps, Let It Sleep asked me five questions. I addressed four of them yesterday and will be tackling the last one today.

Rachel asked me why I wanted to be a teacher. This same question was also asked by Brandie Boddie of Penning Praises back in August 2011 and I never properly addressed it.

Addressing flood relief workers
in Eastland, Texas
For the last 15 years, I have been a teacher in some capacity. Whether it was through jobs I've had, working at my church, summer camp or volunteering somewhere. I have taught kids and adults. I am often asked to lead meetings at my places of employment. I am usually the one who gathers information to share or teach to the other employees. In 1990, before people had the computer familiarity they have today, I was put in charge of the college computer labs because I had a talent for helping people understand what needed to be done. These are practices that have been part of who I am since I left high school.

When I moved to Puerto Rico in 2001, my job had two primary responsibilities. I was the pastor of a church and the administrator of a school with over 300 students. During this time, I taught on a regular basis and loved every minute of it. However, for some reason, it never occurred to me to become a "teacher."

A couple of years ago, when I moved to Moweaqua to finish my degree, I immediately sought out the minister and youth minister of my new church to introduce myself and get myself plugged in so I could start working with people and begin teaching. This was just a natural train of thought for me, but I still wasn't thinking of teacher as a profession.

It wasn't until my last semester of school that I finally figured it out at forty years old. I was reading a magazine article about the age of most public school teachers. According to this article, almost a quarter of today's teachers will be retiring within the next 10 years. As I continued to read, something stirred inside me. Over the course of the next couple of days, I continued to think about this article and began looking up more information. It was slowly occurring to me that I was built for this profession. By the end of the week, I couldn't figure out why I hadn't made this decision years before.

I started the process at school to be able to transfer to a school of education as soon as I graduated the following semester. I got my Bachelor's degree at Lincoln Christian University and started on my Master's at Greenville the next year. I have made a couple of changes since then as I try to decide exactly what I want to teach, but teaching has stayed at the center of my education.

I started out with the intention of being a high school math teacher since I am good at math, but was never really excited about it. I have since veered away from the public school focus and am pursuing a degree in ESL. (English as a Second Language) This will combine my love of teaching with my passion for missions and interacting with people of other cultures. ESL is also the second largest job in demand worldwide. Not only will I be in a field that I love, but in this competitive and difficult job market, I have an excellent chance at finding work.

Ideally, I would like to work in a university setting, but I will see where this takes me. I expect to graduate in May of 2014.

16 comments:

  1. Congrats on finding your mission in this world. I would love to teach but I found that my patience level wasn't where it needed to be.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. I work well with teenagers. I don't do little kids. However, I don't think I could work in the public school system. ESL will work better for me.

      Delete
  2. This is awesome. I've always loved teaching, mostly in terms of small writing classes, but I don't know if I'd have the guts to do it full time. Sounds like you've already got teaching down pretty well, it's just the degree you're waiting on.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's great getting to interact with people and learning who they are. I have been doing this for so long, I feel the same way. I know how to do this, but need the paper that proves it. There are some specific skills that I will be learning in school, but for the most part, I got this.

      I know I sound conceited.

      Delete
  3. I taught for many years, Art and History. It was a great experience but I got burned out by the bureaucracy. Now I teach but I do so through stories on my blog. So much better. But I still have very high respect for teachers of all kinds.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a little of what I am worried about with the public school system. The more classes I took as an education major, the more upset I got with what I was learning. I have huge respect for teachers, but very little for the system they have to operate in.

      Delete
  4. Thank you for answering all of my questions!

    It's really cool that you've figured out what you're meant to do and what you want to do. I'm sure you'll have hundreds of stories once you start work as an ESL teacher, especially when you can interact with people of other cultures. But more importantly, that just seems like it would be something you would love doing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. When I first started at LCU, I found myself drawn to the foreign students to help them find their way in our culture. I've lived in another country and know how frustrating it can be before you figure it out.

      Delete
  5. it is so wonderful that you have found your calling! i found mine too seven years ago with my school (Greenville) telling us aspiring teachers that there were going to be plenty of jobs available as the baby boomers retired. that was seven years ago and no teaching jobs in this area for me - you'll have better luck - you're a man - for a woman (40 something) like me, it's near impossible to get a teaching job in her community because of politics and nepotism! it's discouraging seeing teachers out there who really don't care while i'm here ready to go with more caring than any of them have ever even thought of! kudos to you dear one! you'll go far for sure!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awesome. So you are familiar with the school. I will actually be leaving Greenville at the end of this semester to return to LCU for a Master's in TESOL.

      I was told that being male will have an advantage. That is part of the reason I chose math also. More opportunity, but I never really wanted to do it.

      Thank you.

      Delete
  6. I hope to do this myself, and expect to know if my basic qualification will be possible in the next week. Not at the high-school level, not at first, but at least for adult classroom and language tutoring. Hopefully I'll be employed by Sept 2013.

    I always wanted to help in that way, and I know that great feeling of being able to help others to grasp something, particularly from the IT work I also spent a decade providing.

    So, good luck. I think it's a wonderful thing to offer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope everything falls into place for you. There is mountains of paperwork involved that I have grown quite sick of. Just getting qualified to sub was a long battle.

      It's a very rewarding field. Good luck to you.

      Delete
  7. You know I think you can do anything you choose. Direction is always helpful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's easier to steer a car once it's moving.

      Delete
  8. Replies
    1. Thank you. I am very excited to get started.

      Delete

Getting comments on my blog is like finding a McNugget in my fries. It just doesn't get any better. Leave a comment while you're here.