Write an essay where you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to become a teacher.
In the first grade, I would ask for extra worksheets to take home so that I could play “first day of school” with the neighborhood kids. That’s how long I have wanted to teach. That was all I ever wanted to do. I was influenced a lot by Laura Ingalls Wilder from Little House on the Prairie and she was my childhood hero. But it was my uncle who had special needs and didn’t know how to read who really influenced me. When I first learned to read and write and sign my own cards to him he was inspired to learn to read and write himself so that he could sign his own cards to me. So at 40, he began to learn. I watched him struggle and succeed and I witnessed the pride in his accomplishment. I loved that I inspired him to learn and to better himself. I went to college right after high school all with the intention of becoming a teacher but life circumstances changed that and put that dream on hold for many years. Yet even though I wasn’t a public school teacher, I was always a teacher in one form or another. One of my greatest accomplishments was teaching adults that were both homeless and mentally ill. I taught a 60-year-old man how to read. He was released from prison after being falsely accused of murder and sentenced to death row for 20 years. He was homeless and suicidal. Yet he worked with me week after week and he learned to finally read words that were around him, like “exit” and “stop”. He never was suicidal again because he had something to live for and felt a sense of worth and purpose. I loved teaching adults. Yet I came to recognize that I am so passionate about teaching and kids that I wanted to finally achieve my original dream of becoming a teacher. I want to give the gift of reading to children so they can have a lifetime of exploring books and writing their thoughts. And I want to work in Special Education because who I am was born to work with those who have special needs. It stemmed from my family and it stems from my heart and soul.
Becky from California
Western Governors University