When I was six years old, I went through the dilemma of trying to decide what I would do for the rest of my life; the possibilities were endless. There were the popular occupations of firefighter, police officer or ambulance driver, but I wanted to be a scientist. I had always had an interest of how and why things worked. I remember always thinking that I would find the cure for the common cold. My ambitions were always big.
As I got older, and my knowledge of science grew, I realized that I did not want to work in a laboratory. The stereotypes of the scientist did not seem appealing to me. I did not want to be a stuffy, old, gray haired evil scientist who mixes chemicals and finds a way to destroy the world. Having the world remember me as a man who destroyed it was not the way I wanted to be remembered. I needed to take a good look around me and see what other possibilities there were for a budding young scientist.
It turns out that the answer was right in front of me. I looked to my mother who was a second grade teacher. I realized that I always had a talent for explaining abstract concepts and concrete facts to my friends. If they had a problem with their schoolwork, and I seemed to understand the subject, my friends would come to me to help them with their problems.
As it turns out my talent for explaining things is also what I love to do. I have this great feeling inside me when I can explain a concept to someone and they understand it. They walk away smarter than they were before just because of me. The thought is almost mind-boggling.
Another thing I love about teaching is the look on a student's face the instant that a problem is solved. The student has this momentary glow, almost an aura to them. I remember the first time I witnessed this. I was in Boston for a convention that I was attending for my youth group. One of our advisors had brought their two years old son along on the trip. During one of the speeches, the two year old, Cory, became restless and started to play with the buckle of the seat belt on his stroller. After about fifteen minutes of hitting the buckle, he was able to undo it. His mother quickly placed him back in his stroller and refastened the seat belt.
By this time, I was growing bored of the speaker so I decided to observe Cory. Two minutes after his mother placed him back in the stroller, he started trying to unfasten the seat belt. Once again, he started to hit it to unlatch it. After ten minutes he was able to free himself once more. His mother, growing more irritated by this each time, placed him once again in his stroller. This time, when she fastened the seat belt, Cory watched what she did.
I was becoming more fascinated by this with each passing minute. I could not wait to see who was going to win this power struggle, Cory or his mother. As in many cases, the child ended up winning. After this last attempt at restraint by Cory's mother, Cory repeated his mother's actions when she fastened the buckle. He reached down, grabbed the sides and pushed in the buttons.
Cory was free once more, this time he realized that he accomplished this by himself. I noticed the look on his face at that moment. It was so bright and happy; I had never seen it before. This look of accomplishment was amazing. Cory realized that he was able to get himself free from his stroller anytime he wanted to.
I want to become a teacher to witness that look of accomplishment everyday. The feeling I get from witnessing it is overwhelming. I feel as if I accomplish something every time I see that look. There is nothing in the world that makes me happier and more fulfilled than when I see it. I want to go into teaching for a very selfish reason; I want to be happy everyday I leave work. I want to be excited everyday I get up in the morning. The best way I can make this happen is if I become a teacher.