In class, we constructed a fish-bowl conversation on our reading experiences in school. I didn’t jump right in to the circle at first because I didn’t really know what I would share. As the conversation progressed, and people began to talk about their own experiences in school, I thought about my childhood.
I was that nerdy kid. The teacher’s pet. The one who always got to run the errands and watch the class and take names of those who were out of line when the teacher stepped out of the room. Wow. My classmates must have hated me – looking back at it. However, I was the one who LOVED school. I looked forward to school every single day. I didn’t cry when my mom dropped me off, but I ran to my teachers and classmates with excitement. Not only did I love the social aspect of school, but I loved learning.
I’m not sure how old I was when I learned how to read. Or who exactly taught me to read. But I’m sure glad someone did! When I was in first grade, my teacher would have me go to other classrooms and read the Mr. Men and Little Miss series (Like Little Miss Sunshine). I’m sure the other kids were like … why does she get to do this? Well, its because I loved it.
When I would get home from school I would force my brother to play school with me. I was fortunate enough to have half of our playroom decorated as and dedicated to my school area. I had an overhead projector, and desk, and everything. My poor brother was my student day in and day out. I’m sure he didn’t love it as much as I did, because he hated school and still does.
Throughout my entire childhood up until middle school I just knew I wanted to be a teacher. However, that changed when I was in middle school. My love for learning decreased, and my love for social activities increased tremendously. I hated Daily Grammar Practice, orange books that helped with vocabulary, and EOC prep. I especially hated my 8th grade math teacher who gave me my first B. I really didn’t deserve a B – she said she gave out B’s to shock the straight A students into accepting the real world. (Wow.) Anyway, I decided I didn’t want to be a teacher anymore, and I lived in the moment thinking about the next basketball game I would cheer at, or the next tennis match, or the school dance. When I got to high school, I felt about the same. I liked some of my classes, hated others. I loved the social scene, but hated the homework and tests. I still didn’t want to be a teacher.
So why did I decide against teaching? Well, my teachers. That’s why. They always talked about how they did it because they loved it and not for the money which wasn’t there (they’d reiterate time and time again). Except, it sure didn’t seem like they liked it. They actually discouraged us against going into teaching. They told us how much they hated common core and regulations and especially the pay. My mind was forever changed by my teachers experiences in their careers. I still see past teachers complaining on Facebook about how much they hate their jobs and how little pay they earn for the work they put in.
I hate that this had to happen to me. I think I would love teaching – if I could do it my own way. I don’t know if it’s just the teachers from my small, rural, poor hometown; or if teachers everywhere feel the same way. Teachers are SO important, and shouldn’t be taken for granted in our society.
Anyway, to connect this to the beginning. My love for learning still exists. My love for reading and science and helping others learn… it’s still there. But you have to have a passion for whatever you will be doing for the rest of your life. And unfortunately, the teachers I grew up with didn’t love it quite enough to look past the money and the issues with common core and legislature. I want to love my future career as much as I loved school when I was little, and as much as I loved to read as a child. I don’t know if this will be in education or psychology or the culinary field or something totally different! But essentially, love has everything to do with it.