Where were you in your life when you decided to become a teacher?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Peregrin5, Sep 7, 2012.

  1. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Sep 7, 2012

    Reading some of the posts about the backgrounds of different teachers and some posts from young people aspiring to be teachers is very interesting. Some decide from very young, and some start a few careers before falling into teaching. Some are falling back out of it again.

    At what point in your life were you at when you decided to become a teacher?

    I had just graduated college, and had no clue what to do with my life. I was unemployed for a while because I was applying to a lot of service jobs and I guess I was over-qualified because I had a degree and no one would take me.

    I started a job as an assembler of medical electronics at a company my mom worked at, and that's basically a job where you sit on your butt all day gluing the same part to the same part while staring through a microscope. Really boring, involves no intellect whatsoever.

    I felt intellectually starved and thought I would have more fun and be able to think a lot more as a teacher where every day would be different.

    I quit the assembly job, moved away, and worked at a grocery store in a starting position as a courtesy clerk while filling my field experience, getting letters of rec, and getting financial aid to go for credential. I got in to the program, got through it, and I'm starting my first real year this year.
     
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  3. Jen84

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    I knew I wanted to be a teacher when I was in kindergarten. I never even considered doing anything else.
     
  4. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    I was in the middle of my sophomore year of school before I decided to change my major to education. I've never looked back!
     
  5. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    I don't remember actually making the decision, but it had to be somewhere around kindergarten. For all the time I can remember, teaching was the only career I ever considered.
     
  6. 2ndTimeAround

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    I thought it would be a nice career choice back when I was in high school. But my high school biology teacher told me not to waste my life on it and to go back to thinking about medicine. I thought about it again when I was a sophomore in college and decided to take the intro to ed course that was required for anyone seeking licensure at the time. I started learning about all the crap teachers have to put up with and figured industry would be a better fit for me. Many moons after that and after babies, I thought about it again. Being on a similar schedule as the kids had a lot to do with my decision. I'm not sure if this is a permanent gig for me or not.
     
  7. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    I decided that I wanted to be a teacher in kindergarten. Then, in middle school, I decided I wanted to be a pediatrician. I realized that I am far too squeamish for that to happen. So I thought about child psychology. One of my freshman teachers pushed me to do a job shadow on one. She had a friend go into that and was so depressed all the time. I went back to becoming a teacher.

    I always knew I wanted to work with kids. I just changed my mind on exactly how several times.
     
  8. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    I was 4 or 5. I used to go to work with my dad on my days off from school and boss his middle schoolers around. It was fun!
     
  9. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I was in 2nd grade.
     
  10. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Before I really knew what teachers were...

    I was four and very jealous of my brother's school attendance when I started playing teacher at home. A year later it was said, and in second grade I wrote about the dream in the journal I still have. I am less enthused now.
     
  11. PinkCupcake

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    Same here. I can remember after school asking teachers if they had any extra papers to give me. When I got home, I'd take the extra papers, line up my dolls and stuffed animals, and play school with them.
     
  12. applecore

    applecore Devotee

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    In the back row of a law class.

    My professor told me after class that my calling was to be a teacher instead of a student.

    I love my job! :)
     
  13. DrivingPigeon

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    I became serious about becoming a teacher when I was about 21. I started college as an education major, switched majors a bunch of times, and took some time off. I went back, switched back to education, and became serious about finishing school. I finally started to truly enjoy college when I began my education classes.
     
  14. Go Blue!

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    I entered college as a teaching major but it was always only my backup plan in case all else failed and I decided not to go to law school. I never wanted to teach, but I did want a solid back up plan and at the time, I thought teaching wouldn't be that bad.

    Sure enough, by the time my Senior year of college came, I was applying to grad school but no longer wanted to go to law school. When I finished my Master's I needed a job, so I started teaching hoping it would be a one or two year thing TOPS. Years later, I am still teaching, trying to figure if I want to go back to school for another degree or just try to change careers.
     
  15. knitter63

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    I loved school since kindergarten, but it was my sixth grade teacher that sealed the deal for me.
    He was the most wonderful teacher. I knew then and there that I wanted to teach.
    I still see him, even though he has retired. I can only hope and pray to be half the teacher he was to me.
     
  16. linswin23

    linswin23 Cohort

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    I was in high school and completely in love with literature and writing. I knew that I had to do something where I could read and write everyday, as well as be around people. Teaching was the right fit for me. I'm only a second-year, but I love the challenges, passions, and triumphs associated with this profession.
     
  17. queenie

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    I decided I'd be a teacher when I was in first grade and had the best. teacher. ever. She taught us French and let us perform Little Red Riding Hood in French for the whole school. When our classroom was being painted, we had class in the cafeteria and she taught us how to make pancakes. She was beautiful and wonderful in my little girl eyes and I wanted to be a teacher so I could make kids' time at school magical. Wow. Things have sure changed...it sure is difficult to be magical these days...
     
  18. Cerek

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    Sep 7, 2012

    I was laying in a hospital bed in Atlanta. As you might guess, it was a very low point in my life; my ex had announced she no longer wanted to be married two years before that, my dad had passed away a year later and I had just been fired from what I thought was a good job.

    Laying in the ICU, recovering from two major surgeries, I had a LOT of time to reflect and think about what I wanted to do when I finally got home and recovered (I was in the hospital for 6 weeks). I had thought about a career in teaching for years, but my ex had always firmly stated we did not have the time or money for me to go back to school for the classes I would need. Since she wasn't around anymore, I began considering it again.

    A day or two later. The nurse brought in a huge manilla envelope for me. I certainly wasn't expecting anything like that and had no idea what it could be. I opened the envelope and discovered more than two dozen hand-written "Get Well" cards from all of the students in our AWANA classes at church (I taught 3rd-6th grade boys).

    However, the very first thing I pulled out of the envelope was a little lapel pin that simply said "Teacher"! :)

    At that moment, I knew what I was going to do. God was telling me the time had come. After recovering my health, I took the training to become a substitute teacher and enrolled at my alma-mater to take the rest of my licensure classes.
     
  19. myKroom

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    I had always loved school and being a teacher was always in my mind. I considered and dreamed of other options, but teaching is what I always came back to. I originally wanted to teach HS because I hadn't had much experience with young kids and didn't have a desire to do elementary. When I started my senior year of high school I had a study hall time that I didn't want, so the counselor asked me to volunteer in the elementary. I agreed and was assigned to kindergarten. The rest is history!!! I worked with the most AMAZING kindergarten teacher and knew within a week of being in there that that is where I needed to be. I volunteered in her room during my breaks in college. I have now been teaching 7 years, 6 of which have been in kindergarten.

    I :wub: my job!
     
  20. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    I knew in 7th grade when I had the best teacher in my entire life. He ended up as a professor at MTSU in Tennessee.
     
  21. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I was in high school when I knew I wanted to be a teacher. During my junior year I participated in a program where I spent an hour or two each day (during the school day) at an elementary school across town, sort of working as an aide. I loved it, even though it was an elementary school. Initially I thought I was going to be a high school English teacher. Once I got to college and realized that my proficiency in Latin would allow me to bypass the novice and intermediate coursework (but still earn all the credits), I decided to pursue that instead. For me it was the perfect decision.
     
  22. DrivingPigeon

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    Wow, that's a great story! :thumb:
     
  23. YoungTeacherGuy

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    In 2nd grade, I told everyone I was going to be a 2nd grade teacher when I grew up.

    After high school, I went to the local Cal State University and enrolled in the elementary ed. program. Finished my BA and got my credential.

    Not once (since I was seven) did I think about another career path.
     
  24. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    I was a junior in college.

    I was a social work major, but I wasn't overly thrilled with it. I was doing field work, and one of my placements was at a school program that allowed mothers to bring their babies to school with them. I really liked working there a lot more than I did at the social insurance office.

    Turned out that I'd taken a lot of English classes as electives because I liked them, and I was only one class away from a minor in philosophy. I decided to try my hand at secondary English teaching.

    My choice has surprised most of the people I know. Somehow my personality doesn't scream "teacher", but English & philosophy major is more my style. Sometimes I still surprise myself that I teach middle school and love it. I didn't like middle school as a student, and everyone knows that kids that age are . . . well . . . just not everyone's cup of tea.
     
  25. Mellz Bellz

    Mellz Bellz Comrade

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    I think I knew that I definitely wanted to be a teacher by 5th grade. I always wanted to teach elementary school. When I was in high school I contemplated either becoming a psychologist or a high school English teacher, but by the time college rolled around I had pretty firmly decided to go the elementary route.

    I never considered teaching Special Ed though until I was in college. The elementary ed program at the school I attended was set up as a dual certification in general and Special Ed. I had absolutely no intention of teaching Special Ed ever and figured I'd just go through the courses because I had to. It wasn't until I started my student teaching that I realized how diverse Special Ed is and how much I enjoyed helping the lower students. After that I left it up to fate to decide if I went into general or Special Ed.
     
  26. EMonkey

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    I never thought I wanted to be a teacher as a child or at all until I already was actively working in education. I had gone through serious surgery when I was in my mid 20's while going through several months of healing I was contacted by a friend of mine who offered me a job through AmeriCorps*VISTA. I hated the job I was doing so I said sure. I went from the VISTA position she hired me to do to another VISTA position in a school. While there a friend I made told me steps to take to get a position in a school district without a credential. I did so and got hired worked for a short while. While doing so realized it was a lot of work and decided since I had the stipend for a college from VISTA and enjoyed how active and interesting the work was I might as well use the stipend to get a teachers credential. Now thirteen years later I am very happy I did so.
     
  27. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    I've never really wanted to be anything else. I actively tried to find something else I was as interested in when I was in HS because everyone in my family is a teacher and I wanted to branch out, but I literally just couldn't really find anything else. As someone earlier mentioned, I am far less enthusiastic now.
     
  28. mkbren88

    mkbren88 Cohort

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    I always knew that I wanted to be a teacher. I played school with my friends, gave them assignments, books to read and tests to take. I think my 2nd/3rd grade teacher really solidified my wanting to be a teacher though. She was awesome, and someone I still keep in contact with today.
     
  29. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    I wanted to be an art teacher when I was a kid. My mom wanted me to be an architect.

    I was in grad school and got to teach an undergrad course. By the 2nd day in the classroom, I knew I had found my calling.

    I co-enrolled (grad school for my advanced degree and undergrad for a teaching degree) and was in my own HS English classroom 3 years later.

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE MY JOB!
     
  30. Mrs.DLC

    Mrs.DLC Comrade

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    Also Kindergarten. I loved the felt shapes!!!
     
  31. Harmony2

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    I played "teacher" from as far back as I can remember. I used to line all my stuffed animals up and they were my "class". I moved on to my parents, friends, anyone I could "teach". I had a chalk board in my room and played with it every day. :D

    But...went to college in the 80's and life took me on a different path. I went to live abroad my sophomore year, got engaged, got married, had one, then two, then my third kid, and then just did different things through the years for money. Through all of that, I still kept hearing the little voice in my head "You are a teacher".

    In 2003 I got divorced, and I needed to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. I was working as a property manager and was not happy with it at all. A few years later, I was laid off.

    I went to sleep that night, had a dream, woke up the next morning, and enrolled in education classes that day. :) Though the path has had some bumps, I am now 46, have completed my BA and all of my Masters coursework other than student teaching. I am currently in my placement and will finish student teaching in December. I should have my license in February if all goes as planned. :wub:

    Though I came to it later than planned, I believe it is what I was always meant to do. Through my own kids, I was a coach, a PTA president, and wore many other hats, but all of those hats had me working with kids in some capacity. Being in the classroom feels like one of the most natural places for me, and though I am nervous, I am also very excited.
     
  32. teresateaches

    teresateaches Companion

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    I wanted to be a teacher very young. I really just wanted to be able to decorate my own classroom and grade papers. Little did I know that these were not the fun things of being a teacher. Although, I do enjoy decorating!
     
  33. HistTchr

    HistTchr Habitué

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    Everyone in my family always tells me that I wanted to be a teacher from birth. :lol:
     
  34. ecteach

    ecteach Devotee

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    The summer going into my sophomore year of college. I was a psychology major. I ended up getting a job at a group home for individuals with disabilities as an internship for the summer. I fell in love with this population that I never knew existed. I ended up changing my major to Elementary Ed with a minor in Special Ed when I went back to school.

    I never wanted to be a "teacher" when I was younger. In fact I HATED school from kindergarten to 12th grade. I will never forget my mom's face when I told her I wanted to be a teacher. Priceless! :love:
     
  35. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    When I went to kindergarten. I fell in love with school and my teacher. I constantly played school and home and dreamed of having a classroom of my own! I've never considered any other career.
     
  36. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    I guess I subconsciously knew my entire life. But I never said it. Probably because everyone would tell me I should be a teacher. My mom runs a home daycare so I was doing my first read alouds at 7 years old. (Stopping to ask my 3 and 4 year old "pupils" if they could make a prediction)

    But I was so stubborn I went to college as a government major. Halfway through freshman year I realized my mistake and changed my major. I just happened to be going to a college that had a great education program, so I was very lucky. I haven't looked back since and I'm SO glad I realized what I wanted when I did and not after 4 years at a private college.
     
  37. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    I changed my major plenty of times in college. Started with El Ed, realized I didn't like small children. Went to nursing, realized I didn't want to change bed-pans. Went to biology, realized I didn't want to stay in a lab all day and that I really missed coaching swimming. I finally ended up in Bio Ed.

    I think I could be good at other things, like working in a study abroad program, or work abroad programs or something similar. I'm so passionate about traveling and I want everyone to do it. But I also really enjoy teaching. :)
     
  38. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    I wanted to be an author and a college English professor when I was in first grade. ;)

    I think I knew (although I did waver a bit after that through the years) in 7th grade. My mom was a 4th grade teacher at my K-8 school, and through her connection I ended up volunteering for an hour every day in the PM Kinder class since they got out an hour after the Jr. High kids did. Helping in that class every day was just so natural to me. I remember how much I loved working with small groups on literacy skills, as a 7th grader. I just loved those kids. In my yearbook that year, the K teacher wrote "You either need to become a teacher or have a 'gazillion' children of your own!" I've often wished I could get in contact with her (she has long since retired) and let her know how true her words were, and how she really is the person who started my career trajectory.

    Now I am teaching first grade and could not be happier. The funny thing is, for a long time I was determined to teach upper elementary, but I ended up right back where I started, in lower primary, and I adore it. It's been a long journey and a lot of hard work to get to this point, and I feel very humbled and blessed to be where I am. I am one of those people who views teaching as a calling, and I know it is definitely mine.
     
  39. Ms. I

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    It was not a highlight in my life. I had been subbing for a couple yrs already right after getting my BA & had just turned 26. I always wanted a career working w/ kids since I was little, but never actually a teacher. First it was pediatrician, then child pscyhologist. While subbing, an opportunity became aware to me that a local university (coincidentally my alma mater) was partnering with my district where one could earn dual credentials & not have to drive on campus (which turned out to not be true), but I went ahead & did it. While working on my creds, I went ahead & worked on my 1st Masters in Special Ed since I kind of wanted to be an RSP teacher at the time...nice small groups for a short period of time, less chances of behavioral problems. So, after I graduated, I got hired right away as an RSP teacher, in which I only did it for a year. It was OK. I've since gone back to school & am about halfway through grad school, but I already have my job as an SLP, which I like much better. A PhD isn't totally out of the question...we'll see.
     
  40. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    I knew in 3rd grade teacher or nurse... nurse too much blood for me...so teacher!!! I had some really GREAT teachers who influenced me!!!
     
  41. MikeTeachesMath

    MikeTeachesMath Devotee

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    I think the thought started to creep into my head in 6th grade. I was a rowdy little kid back then, and I got in trouble a lot. I was also a nerd, so even at that young age, I knew my way around a computer. My teacher would write up take-home quizzes and tests with paper and pencil (he wasn't too tech-savvy), and I would then type them up. I don't know why, but I really liked doing that, so it eventually became a tool my teacher used to keep me in line, instead of a punishment. After a while, I would spend my indoor winter recess time at the computer, with a social studies textbook, making "quizzes" for my teacher :lol:.

    After that, I started helping my younger siblings with their homework. When they had tests coming up, I would take all their homeworks and compile them into review sheets and I would "grade" them, and then go back and review again.

    10th grade is when I started to seriously consider teaching as a career choice. I began researching schools for Vocal Music Education.

    In 11th grade I had my AP US teacher, who I consider the BEST teacher I've ever had in my entire life, and I really don't think I'll ever have a teacher better than her. She's the first adult I actively talked to about becoming a teacher, and she started to guide me in the direction of Social Studies Education.

    Senior year, I auditioned to universities/colleges and got into several Vocal Music Ed programs, and that's what I started my college career in.

    I have considered other career options, but none of them ever seem to satisfy my imagination as much as teaching does.
     

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