This is the final part in a four part series called “Why a Teacher?” In it I discuss the four most common questions asked someone when it is discovered they wish to become a teacher. When I first began answering these questions I thought this question might be the hardest question to answer. But, after answering the other three, I realize this is not as difficult as first thought. The last question is, “What do you hope to accomplish as a teacher?”

If you have read the previous four then you may have an idea what some of the things are I hope to accomplish. I hope to do for my students what my inspirational teachers did for me. I hope to introduce them to the passion that history can be, that history can be fun and exciting, to infuse within them an appreciation for history – if not a love for it – and that the skills used in history can carry over to any field they may enter; business, fashion, banking, government, theater, urban development, etc. Anything they go into, there is history behind it and involved in it.

Naively, I hope to show them that each of them can make a difference; that they are significant and they matter. I hope to provide a safe environment where students will not feel bullied or badgered by others. I hope to provide structure and boundaries so that students can feel free enough and have enough room to experiment and “play” in the sandbox that history can be. I hope to be criticized by conservative parents for teaching their children liberal ideas and by liberal parents for teaching their children conservative ideas; in other words, I hope to be so objective that students and parents are unable to determine what my political affiliation is. Fairness (as defined by giving equal time to each side of an issue and fairness as defined as what is in the best interest of the student as determined by me) will be a watchword in the classroom. I hope to empower students so they are ready to attend college if that’s what they desire or to go into the work-a-day-world if that’s what they want.

These are the things that drive me to be a teacher. These are the things I hope to accomplish as a teacher.

What did you wish to accomplish when you first started teaching and how has that changed (if it has) since you have been teaching?  How have you implemented your goals into your lesson plans?

Update (6/5/11): See also U.S. History Classroom Mission Statement

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