I’ve never been good at math. Strike that. I’ve never been good at golf (assuming that never shooting below 100 on 9-holes qualifies you as “not good”). I’ve always been god awful at math. I was so bad at math that when I came across this answer on funnyexam.com
, I had to do a double take and wonder if one of my old teachers had uploaded an old test of mine.
(As an aside, if you ever want to have a laugh and be completely terrified for the future of America, FunnyExam.com
is a great site to go to).
The thing is, I'm not as bad at math as I think I am. I wasn't bad at it as a kid, but that changed when I went to high school. I found myself having greater and greater difficulty with the subject. To make matters worse, I had a teacher, who for whatever reason, always made me feel like I couldn't handle the material. Our personalities just didn't sync up and it bled over into my coursework. Eventually, I wound up convincing myself I wasn't smart enough to handle it, and that stuck with me for years.
After graduating high school, I went years without taking a math class. (When you change colleges every six months this is easier to do then if you have any intention of actually graduating). Finally, I was forced to take a math class. The experience would change my life. The teacher I had in that class was the best educator I’ve ever had the privilege to work with. All of a sudden, I understood everything. Math, which had seemed impossible, was suddenly simple.
Likewise, the question of what I would do for free, became simple as well. That. That is what I wanted to do. Give student who felt they had been cast aside a second chance. Show people that ]even in subjects they don’t consider themselves good at, they can exceed their own wildest expectations. To find the people that everyone else had given up on, the people who had convinced themselves they weren’t smart enough. That is what led me to teaching.
Why do you want to be a teacher? If I had a dollar for every time I’ve been asked that question, I wouldn’t have to be a teacher. I would be sitting on the beach on my own private island, sipping on drinks with tiny umbrellas in them.
It turns out you don’t actually get a dollar when you’re asked annoying, repetitive questions. So why did I decide to become an education major? It wasn’t an obvious choice for me. I hated school before I got to college. I would do as little as possible to get by, and as soon as the bell rang at the end of the day I was out the door. I’m not the type of person who wants to be a teacher in order to relive my high school glory days.
Many of my classmates have told me they entered the education field because when they were in school they participated in after school activities they wanted to continue to be involved with. I’m about as coordinated as a punch-drunk polar bear on roller skates, so sports have never been my thing.
The only after school activity I ever participated in during high school was attending one meeting of the Spanish Club. My reasons for attending Spanish Club were twofold: One: To get my parents off my back about joining a club. Two: The cute girl who was treasurer of the club. At the meeting I realized that:
- The cute treasurer had a boyfriend
- I really hate Spanish
- I could just go back to ignoring my parent’s badgering about joining a club.
Attending that meeting wasn’t a complete waste of time. Ten years later, I can still remember two Spanish phrases: “Mucho gusto me llamo es” and “Yo jugar futbol”. The fact that I know the first phrase because it is a lyric to a Sublime song, and I’m still not entirely sure if “futbol” refers to football or soccer, is beside the point. In any case, I was never one for extracurricular activities, so my desire to become a teacher has nothing to do with that.
So how did I wind up here? As I explain in my introduction, I bounced around to several different colleges after graduating high school. At one of these schools I had two life changing events. One of which I’ll talk about now, and the other I’ll talk about in my next post (blogger rule #1 leave your audience with a cliffhanger). The first was a conversation with a classmate. He was telling me about his major, and how he came to it. He had gone to a coworker, who he considered a mentor, to ask career advice. His mentor had a simple question for him to determine his career. Figure out what you would do for free, and find a way to get paid for it. So the simple question was “What would you do for free?”
What would I do for free? The question haunted me for months. I knew what I didn’t want to do, but finding something I was truly passionate about was a little harder. I’ll talk more about how I finally found my answer to that question in my next post. Until then, leave a comment, tell me what you would do for free…