Why do you want to be a teacher?

I arrived at the desire and determination to be a teacher through a long, winding road of chasing what I thought I wanted and trying new things. 

I first decided to pursue teaching in 2010: when I’d already switched my college major from engineering to counseling to nursing and was looking again for the next thing, I asked how else I could use my talents in science and math to help others and landed (somewhat unenthusiastically) on teaching high school biology.

Over the next year, I took three creative writing courses (just for fun, I thought) and a spring/summer internship teaching science to 1st – 8th grade students at a private school prep program. These experiences not only showed me I was skilled at teaching and writing, but that I loved them. I had always known I loved English but had never pursued it as a major or career, thinking there was no money in it. Now, I decided I didn’t care and transferred to The Master’s College as an English major.

My professors at TMC, especially Grant Horner, exhibited to me the art of great teaching as I’d never seen it before (except in Alene Terzian at COC). From this inspiration and from my ever-deepened love for the field of English came the desire to somehow make a career in this field, but I doubted it was realistically possible.

I think I always knew I wanted to teach, but angling for a full-time professorship seemed impossible, and I was sure teaching high school English would come with a vow of poverty. After graduating in 2013, I worked three different full-time, corporate-ish jobs, searching for ways to apply the skills and talents I’d developed during my time at Master’s. This I found, and in the bargain I learned more than I’d ever thought possible from these fields, but I found no place to put down roots and take on a career.

In summer 2016, I took on a job teaching three SAT test-prep classes in a private program. This was my first time teaching English in a classroom setting (as opposed to tutoring) and I found I loved it. I was teaching high school students essay-writing, grammar, and language arts five days a week, and I loved it. I don’t even find grammar interesting, but I loved teaching it!

Around this time, I began for the first time to seriously consider teaching high school English. I looked at the pay schedules for the Hart District and talked to a few teachers there (including some who’d taught me when I was in high school), and from these I concluded that I actually could support a family in Santa Clarita (if not lavishly) on a teacher’s salary, and that teaching English at a public high school actually would give me scope and freedom to do what I love.

So, here I am: I took plenty long coming round to it, but I love teaching – and, more importantly, I love learning. Perhaps that’s why I love teaching in the first place, because I love learning and want to share its wonder with young minds. I realize there will be many unwilling students, long nights, mountains of papers, shoddy assignments, irate parents, and unpaid hours, and maybe even stress-induced health problems, hostility towards my faith, and unsupportive admins. 

But I’m ready.

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This rather dry word-salad was assembled originally for my application to the teaching credential program at The “One and Only” Master’s University — graduating 2018, whoop whoop!

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