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

Some have said that the power to communicate is one of the greatest gifts that can be given, and when applied to the lives of my students, I would concur. Communication skills are critical to the success of children, not only in the education system, but in daily life. Recognizing this, I have watched students in my classroom struggle with receiving, processing, and expressing language, stirring within them feelings of failure, separation from peers, and an inescapable anxiety. No child should feel this way, particularly when “lack of effort” is not the problem, but rather, a communication disorder.
This is why I am returning to school to earn my Bachelor’s of Science in Speech Pathology. It is my intention, at the conclusion of the program, to pursue a career as a Speech Pathologist. This career choice requires a deeper level of expertise that cannot be learned solely from fieldwork, as Speech Pathologists prevent, assess, diagnose, and treat a large variety of language and communication disorders. As a result, the coursework is rigorous and complex, ensuring that any graduate of the program is prepared for the expansive field they will be entering. Despite the many costs that accompany this decision, I am influenced to pursue this path with the firm belief that I will be an asset to the field. The impact I might have on the lives of children far outweighs the cost of the education I need to make it happen.
Similarly, I have realized, that through my education to become a Speech Pathologist, there is potential for me to reach beyond the students I will serve. There is opportunity for me to jump back “into the trenches”, and support teachers who face the same struggle that I recognized early in my career. The knowledge that I gain through this program would not be kept solely for the benefit of the students I serve, but their teachers as well. Has it not been stated time and time again, that power comes from knowledge shared, not knowledge kept?

Katherine from Montana
College Junior
University of Washington