Write an essay where you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to become a teacher.

As I reflect on my past, I find it difficult to pinpoint the exact moment that led to my decision to pursue a degree in teaching. I believe that many factors throughout my life led to my desire to teach. Growing up, I always wanted to be a teacher. I always enjoyed learning and working with children. As I started my college education, I was a nursing student, but I quickly realized that it wasn’t for me, and I switched my major to Early Childhood Education. I have had a passion for caring for those younger than me, for as long as I can remember. I have worked at an at- home daycare for over four years now, and I just can’t imagine working in a career that doesn’t involve working with children. Many events throughout my life inspired me to pursue a degree in teaching including: my sister always encouraged me to pursue a career that brings me joy, I had inspiring teachers, and I had an experience in student teaching that ultimately inspired me to become a compassionate educator.

My sister has been a huge influence in my life choices growing up, she always encouraged me to do what makes me happy. My parents didn’t want me to pursue a career in education, but my sister always encouraged me to pursue whatever career I could see myself enjoy pursuing. When my sister passed away a year ago, I decided it was finally time to take her advice and invest my time in a future that will bring me joy. My employers have also always encouraged me to pursue a career working with children, they witnessed firsthand my love and talent in caring for young children, and always recommended it as a career for me.

Growing up in the public-school system, was a very positive experience for me. I was always blessed with compassionate and hard -working teachers. Many of my past educators have influenced me in my desire to become a teacher, but one specifically comes to mind. My fifth-grade teacher was a large influence on me wanting to pursue a career in education. My fifth-Grade teacher was diagnosed with leukemia a year before she taught my class. She didn’t let cancer stop her from encouraging and assisting her young students throughout the year. She taught me a whole new understanding of math, and without her I would still be struggling with mathematics. I hope one day to be as dedicated to my students as she was.

Many details of my first clinical experience were monumental in confirming my aspirations to teach, but the one that has stuck with me the most is what one of the students wrote during morning journal time. Every morning the students walk into class, sit down, read the day’s journal prompt off the board, and begin their daily journal entries. The prompt for the day was, “If I had a hundred dollars I would…” Most of the kids listed what you would typically expect a young child to write such as: a new toy, candy, a racecar, and other things a child would typically enjoy. I walked around the room making sure that the children were staying on task, when I noticed a young Latino girl looking sadly at her paper. I read her journal entry to myself, it said, “If I had a hundred dollars, I would buy food to feed my hungry family. I could feel my heart drop into my stomach as I read the sweet young girl’s journal entry. While the other kids wished for candy and toys, she wished for food for her family. That day in Mrs. Riddle’s first grade classroom, my view of teaching changed. I realized that the students are dealing with struggles outside of the classroom. I hope to use this experience to better myself as a teacher, to be patient, understanding, and encouraging to each and every one of my students.
I have had a passion for caring for those younger than me, for as long as I can remember. I just can’t imagine working in a career that doesn’t involve working with children. Many events throughout my life inspired me to pursue a degree in teaching including: my sister always encouraged me to pursue a career that brings me joy, I had inspiring teachers, and I had an experience in student teaching that ultimately inspired me to become a compassionate educator. I hope one day to inspire many children and assist in giving them the foundation of knowledge that they will continue to use throughout their lives.

Meleah from Oklahoma
College Sophomore
University of Central Oklahoma