How I knew I was going to be a teacher
The realization of becoming a teacher came in a very unique way for me. I had been studying electrical engineering for three and a half years, and I was having real difficulty seeing myself in that career. After a lot of meditation and self-discovery I was still a little lost. My wife and I both contemplated deeply what would be right for me, and one morning after a night of meditation on the subject, my wife wakes me up and says, "I've got it, you're going to be a teacher!" My response to this, "I know."
I guess I should have known all along that my true calling was to become a classroom teacher. I had wanted to be a teacher as early as third grade, but over the years others influenced me to look in other directions. Because of my aptitude in mathematics, many of my peers and family members influenced me in the direction of engineering. I was always classroom bound though.
I volunteered my time to many causes throughout high school, including schools and children. I helped coach several junior high Science Olympiad teams, was an assistant coach to an 8th grade men's volleyball team at an inner city school for two years, and I tutored students in all subject areas. Volunteering with these kids was above and beyond any requirement I needed for a club or potential scholarships. I volunteered because I wanted to, because I enjoyed spending time working with kids. I loved the fact that they were getting something from me that really could change them. I helped motivate them to do better, I gave them opportunities to be involved in something other than the drugs or gangs that were present all around them, and I taught them something. All of these things were fulfilling for me, but more than these things, I affected someone's life, and we were both better for it. School has always been a part of my life, and now more than ever I realize that I always want it to be a part of my life.
The community that I grew up in was the community revolving around my schools. My mother is a teacher, and I went to the same school she taught at. My life was at that school; I spent more hours there than at home. In high school, things did not change, I went to three different high schools, but at each one I strove to be involved and to build my community around that school. Whether it was going to football games, or working on yearbook, school is where my community has always been, and now I want to build another community, this time around my classroom.When I was an engineering student, it was hard to picture my future in that career, mostly it involved retiring early and doing side jobs. Now that I have found my calling, it is much easier to picture my future. I picture my classroom, and the community I wish to build around it. I cannot imagine doing anything else.