If you have known me for more than five minutes, you would probably know a few things about me: I talk about my family all the time, I love to run, I talk about food and cooking and healthy eating a lot, I love to read and listen to music, and oh yeah…I’m going to be a teacher. And my mom is a teacher, too!
This Tuesday, Andrea and all her blog friends are talking about what they want to be (or what they thought they would be) when they grew up. What did you want to be?!
I don’t think I ever made a real decision to be a teacher…it was just part of who I was. I always had a book in my hand and even when I was older, my Grandma would remind me that I used to fall asleep in my crib…sitting up…with a book in my lap.
My dolls, my brothers, my cousins, my friends…they were all my students or coworkers at some point. I played school like nobody’s business. I loved having all the “real” supplies, too. My mom would always bring home extra papers or books that I could play with. I spent many hours perfecting my signature “teacher star” at the top of my students’ homework. 😉
My best friend lived right across the street from me when I was younger and I remember one day we were running from my house to her house with all of our school stuff right before a thunderstorm. As our moms were watching us cross the street, she dropped all her supplies…including her phone. A play phone, of course, but remember I said I really liked having all the “real” supplies so it was a real phone my parents didn’t use anymore. This was 1997. I’m talking this kind of phone…
I’m pretty sure as my brothers and cousins got older, we spent a lot of time playing recess. But that’s okay, because I loved making everyone line up, playing games, and refereeing arguments. I really thought I was the real deal. 🙂
My very favorite teacher was my first grade teacher, Miss Thompson. She read us the best stories and always made me feel important. I was the kind of kid who would finish my work super early and go talk to her while everyone else was still working. Because you know, I was already all grown up. Why did I have to stay in my chair? Hahaha I kept in touch with her over the years and in high school when I had to job shadow someone for my senior paper, I went back to first grade and this time I was allowed to talk to her all day long! Ha! It was so fun to go back and see her teach from another point of view. She retired the year before I graduated from college and we always joked that she should have waited another year so I could have her job. 😉
Because my mom is a teacher, I always say I grew up in school. Of course, she is my very favorite teacher too, but I never had her for class! I loved reading and learning and doing homework, but I also loved seeing all the behind the scenes stuff that teachers do…making materials for their classroom, buying new books, and planning new activities with other teachers. I went to elementary school where my mom was a teacher from second grade through sixth grade, and I spent many of my recess periods in her classroom cutting stuff out at the back table or putting papers in her students’ mailboxes. I was the weirdest child, I know this. Hahaha
This is a picture of me and my dog, Colby, hanging out on my mom’s classroom carpet a few years ago. Even now, I still like to visit. 😉
In high school when everyone was figuring out what they wanted to be when they grew up, I was taking child development classes and working in the preschool. There was never a question in my mind of “what am I going to be?” The question was more “where am I going to go?” I went to Duquesne University for my Bachelor’s degree in Early Level Education and it was the best choice ever! I loved living in the city of Pittsburgh and I LOVED that every semester, from freshman year to student teaching, I was placed in a classroom somewhere to learn and observe and teach. It was amazing and definitely part of what makes me feel so excited to teach now!
I now present to you things that you do when you have wanted to be a teacher forever and a day:
Work at church and other local summer day camps.
P.S. That is my baby brother (when he was still a baby) and my cousin, Lucy, not random campers of mine! Ha!
Hear the phrase “All you do is color all day. How hard is it?” at least 400 times every midterms and finals week in college.
Yes, we do make some pretty creative projects. I’m sorry your future career isn’t as fun. 😉
In all seriousness though, I never understand why people think teaching is an easy career. I am in grad school right now, but just thinking about having my own classroom makes me equal parts excited and nervous. I am responsible for twenty plus children learning to read and write and learn important information!!! That is a big deal. In college I would always think, you wouldn’t be here right now if it weren’t for your teachers! This one always makes me laugh:
Buy random supplies for your future classroom when you don’t even have a job yet.
When you go shopping and Sperry’s and books are on sale, this is what happens…
Embrace your inner child at every opportunity.
Take pictures of the crazy awesome decorations your mom made for her classroom because hello, you need to remember that idea, too!
Get really excited about your first real desk.
I was so excited that I wrote about it in a blog post! Hahaha
Never stop going to school because you love learning just as much as you want your future students to.
First day of grad school at UMD!
Besides being a teacher, I know that I want to be a mom. And I always say in my next life, I will be a writer and live in New York. I’m actually already a published author, did you know that?! My mom helped me type and print a book that I wrote when I was nine or ten years old. Ha! All about a girl named Laura…think spinoff of Karen from the Babysitter’s Club. 🙂
This is the rough draft before the official typing and printing. Thanks, Mom! I have no idea why I have to wait until my next life to write or live in New York, but that’s what I always say.
Anyways, I’m hoping to get my first teaching job SOON and I’m sure when I do, I will be sharing all of that excitement with you. I question myself sometimes about if I’m on the right path…but I think this is my passion. I think. I just need to get out there and do. I’m ready. 🙂
It’s never too late to decide. So what do you want to be when you grow up???