From an early age, I knew I wanted to teach. I had no idea what I wanted to teach, but I knew I loved instructing others. My brother can vouch for this.
Many times, I tied him up to the chair and forced math books upon him.
In third grade, I was lucky enough to join the class of a life-transforming teacher. She encouraged me to reach for the stars. It was that year, that I found my identity. I found confidence in things uniquely me. And, it is a year that I will never forget.
As the years went by, I fell more in awe of English, reading, and writing. So, it was only natural to me to choose to become an English teacher when I was a sophomore in high school.
However, what I didn't know at the time was that it was never about the subject for me. I loved English, but I loved teaching more. Therefore, after five years of teaching high school English, I switched to become a different teacher.
I can't say I ever had a defining moment that lured me into becoming a teacher. Rather, it was a series of shaping events.
As a K-12 student, I was shy. I was afraid to talk in school. I spent many of hours alone, dreading group work. However, from the outside, I was in the top of my class and a star athlete. But, I would get ill just thinking about going to school.
And, while, I had this urge to teach when I was in high school, I never thought I could do it. I knew talking in small groups was a struggle so, how could I manage talking and leading a class?
But, during my sophomore/junior year of college, I was impacted by several great teachers. Several empowered me and instilled that confidence in my abilities that my third grade teacher did. By the end of college, I was sharing my ideas. I felt bright. I felt empowered. I shined. I knew what I said was of value.
And, it was that feeling that I wanted to give to other students. I wanted to help students like myself shine. It's one of the most important things someone can do for another. And, though, my students have changed over the years, my goal is still the same - to make others shine.
Does it work all the time? No. But, it's my constant goal.
What's your defining moment?