Slice 4- Why? Good Question…

Today I gave a ride to one of our wonderful college volunteer tutors. This delightful college freshman has offered an hour of her time each week to work with a struggling high school student- not because she has to, but because she wants to. As we were driving back to campus, out of the blue she asked “Why did you become a teacher?” This is not the first time I have been asked the question. And I’m sure it’s not the last.

I always feel a tad guilty about my answer. I started college as a nursing major, then switched to Occupational Therapy. I volunteered in a hospital and found I really lacked the passion for the work. I loved the people and I liked helping, just not in that way. I must confess I was influenced greatly by my reading of the Cherry Ames series. Her life made nursing sound so glamorous- young, single doctors, mysteries, adventures as an island nurse, dude ranch nurse, private nurse. Reality does not really match fiction!

So, what was I to do with myself? I worked my way through college as a manager at Burger King. I had a crew of mostly high schoolers and I really enjoyed working with them. Someone suggested I should be a teacher. So, off I went to the college counselor, switched my major to English so I could teach high school and the, rest, as they say, is history. I was a good student, not great. I was excited about the future prospect of teaching kids, but not necessarily enthralled with classes on American Lit and grammar.

Why did I become a teacher? To this day, as a woman of faith, I believe that a greater power than myself guided me into education. While it seems I happened into the profession almost by accident, once there, I have known almost every day of my career that I am exactly where I was meant to be. I can’t imagine a day without watching the joy and wonder of a young person uncovering new ideas and the joy of discovery.

Why? Good question…but more important  “Is this the right place for me?’ To that I can answer a resounding “Yes!”

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9 thoughts on “Slice 4- Why? Good Question…

  1. I love how the road we are on leads us to the road we are meant to be on! In my college classes, we were always asked, “Why do you want to be a teacher?” and so many people answered it was because of all the great teachers they had, or they loved school and just wanted to share that with kids. My answer always stuck out like a sore thumb — I hated school and wanted to help all those kids that had similar experiences find a reason to believe in themselves! Thanks for making me think about the importance of teaching and that it doesn’t matter how we get here, it matters that we are right where we belong! And thanks for sharing your Slice!

  2. Oh this gave me goosebumps and tears. How awesome that you are “right where you belong”. I too, feel that way about being a teacher. It is one of the toughest jobs I think there is, but is also one of the most rewarding! Yay God for putting you where you belong.

  3. I love the detail about having been influenced to pursue nursing by the books you read. It is like the influence of literature was a premonition. You know you are in the right place now because it is clear you’ve found that passion nursing lacked for you.

  4. I’m constantly amazed by the happy accidents that lead us to teaching. That sounds like another slice for me, too. Thanks for the inspiration, Teresa. I feel like I can’t stop thanking you for inspiration. 🙂

  5. You said it all in this line:
    “I can’t imagine a day without watching the joy and wonder of a young person uncovering new ideas and the joy of discovery.”
    Awesome.

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