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

I was fortunate to have multiple teachers who had a profound influence on my career choice, but none more so than those in my family. My fifth-great aunt, Minnie, was an elementary teacher whose career impacted many. One of the first teachers in a small mining town, Minnie ran a one room schoolhouse which served the diverse population of students in the area, from white settlers to indigenous peoples. Minnie welcomed and supported each and every child within the community both in and outside of her classroom. My aunt Minnie was so widely admired for her influence as an educator and as a person, she was honored to be the namesake of the new school in the community where she taught for so long; the community where I grew up and the place I went to school, Minnie Cannon Elementary. Minnie’s love and compassion for her community, my community, is still notable today. Her life no doubt impacted my decision to enter education.
More directly, growing up I was able to witness firsthand the impression my mother made on her students. Outside of being an excellent classroom teacher who was nationally recognized for her success, my mother was and still is a passionate educator who gives everything she can to her students: from school supplies to a meal; scholarship opportunities or a ride to school; perhaps most importantly, love and support. Though I am the eldest child in my family, I am fortunate to have many older “brothers” and “sisters,” students of my mother’s, welcomed into our family and loved as she loved my siblings and I. Just like aunt Minnie, my mother’s compassion extends outside of her classroom, supporting all students in the community whether they are “her kids” or not. I have witnessed firsthand how much a person, especially a teacher, can impact those around them, children or adults. I am interested in becoming a teacher so I can make a difference in the lives of students and in my community, just like the women in my family before me.

Rebecca from California
College Junior
Western Governors University