In all honesty, until about 2 years ago, I wasn’t even sure I wanted to be a teacher. Not even as I was sitting at my desk, filling out college applications, and staring at the box that said “Select a Major.” (I was freaking out.)
I wish I could say that this is what I have always dreamed of doing with my life, that I knew at 7 years old that this is what I wanted, and that I started this Pinterest board back in 2012 (I started it about a year and a half ago…). But the truth is, it took a lot of thinking, reflecting, and a bit of panicking, to finally pull the trigger.
What I can say for sure, is that the teachers I have had during my own schooling are the same individuals that I think about when I find myself unsure of the path I am currently taking. They are my main inspirations, and I am constantly working to be as great of a teacher to my future students as they were to me.
My fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Wong, was the first teacher that I felt like really saw me. I had just moved schools in the middle of the year and was deathly afraid.
I got to school way too early and was standing outside the classroom like:
She came right up to me, started a conversation, and reassured me that I was going to be just fine. For the rest of the year, we would talk everyday before school, and I helped her out with anything I could after school. Her classroom was the one place in my life that I felt heard and seen. I want to be able to make my future students feel as safe and welcomed as she made me feel.
The next teacher that impacted me was my math teacher in freshmen year of high school, Ms. Sebastian. I have to start this by saying, I am terrible at math.
It felt like no matter how many practice problems I did, I could never get the hang of anything (but I did manage to memorize the quadratic equation – a win in my book). I started going in after school and Ms. Sebastian spent many hours teaching me ideas over and over and over again, showing me countless practice problems, and trying every possible strategy she could think of.
It was at the end of the year, when I just managed to scrape by and pass my exams, that I realized how hard it must have been to help me. The way she managed to pull out all the stops just to help me understand a single concept was incredible, and was the only way I was able to pass that class. I am a firm believer in the idea that there is no such thing as an unteachable student. It is a huge teaching goal of mine to be able to gather as many strategies and skills as possible so that I have a full toolbox of ways to help the “unteachable” student.
Mrs. Wong and Ms. Sebastian are not the only two teachers I have to owe my inspiration to, every teacher I have ever had has taught me something, and I aim to take all of my experiences and add to my own teaching approach, to hopefully be another students inspiration someday.