(And How They Affect Your Teaching)
It’s funny the things we remember from school over the years. As teachers we need to remember the lasting impact we have on our students. It affects how they deal with teachers and administrators when they have children. It also affects how they deal with education policy issues when voting on referendums and elections. We need to remember that every student matters.
I started kindergarten in 1971, when it was optional and only a half-day. I graduated from high school in 1984 from Putnam City High School in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. I want to share with you a few of the things I remember from 30+ years ago of my time in public education and what those events taught me.
So, the question is inevitably asked of every college student or grad student who seeks to become a teacher: Why do you want to become a teacher? Why do you want to teach in your discipline? What or who inspired you to become a teacher? And, what do you hope to accomplish as a teacher? The first two are easy, the last one is hard. For me, the second question is the easiest, so I’ll answer that one first.
Why do you want to teach in your discipline?
In my last post, I began asking the four usual questions one encounters when they announce they want to become a teacher. I started with the easiest response, at least for me. For some I think that we select our discipline before we actually decide to become teachers! Naturally, I love my chosen discipline (History) and so it is very simple to explain why I want to teach history.
What I have noticed though in the last two to three years is that I have continually asked myself just why I want to become a teacher in light of all the troubles that plague education and the classroom. Why would I want to trouble myself with continually changing policy, curriculum, and regulations, the continual struggles with school administrators, classroom discipline problems, etc?
So, if I haven’t said so already, my second question is, “Why do you want to become a teacher?”