Write an essay where you tell us about what drives you in your pursuit of your graduate degree.

The single biggest motivating factor driving me to pursue a Teaching Credential is the desire to empower young students of all intelligence types, gender identities and ethnic backgrounds. I am committed to courageous and innovative teaching approaches that honor my students’ individual needs while preparing them for sustainable success. To believe you can make your dreams come true is solid gold but to have the support that makes sure they are worthy of your heart and soul: that is priceless.
As a musician and former Hollywood script reader, I know there are many ambitions that don’t deliver on their promises. Less-than-worthy versions of the Dream that beguile with assurances of popularity and wealth. Many seekers never find what they were looking for. Those few who do, realize that what they were looking for isn’t what they need. Because no zip code, no amount of money, no number of followers can give you what can only be find within: true success.
My goal is to help students do what Tom Petty called “Runnin’ Down a Dream”, to instill perseverance and courage. But I also know that the most fulfilling dreams are the ones that include making a positive difference--however humbly--in the world. Here’s the good news: immature dreams can be refined and combined with humanitarian goals so that dreamers and doers are fulfilled on many levels. Like Jack Black’s character in School of Rock, we can empower ourselves as we empower others.
Nothing speaks louder to a child than an adult who isn’t done making their own dreams come true. Teachers who love their jobs yet leave room for the cultivation of their own voice make excellent models because a teacher cannot lead students to places they are not willing to visit. People say a lot of nice things about teaching but you rarely hear them call it a “dream come true”. What drives me as a graduate student is the commitment to seeing teaching, not as a prelude to dreams but as the Dream itself!

Matt from California
University of Redlands