I believe that teaching is in the blood. Either it is mixed up among one’s red blood cells and platelets or it isn’t.
My “first” teachers were my parents. It is from them that I learned right from wrong, how to tie my shoes, and what to do when you get in trouble at school. I quickly learned that it is better to tell the truth, because parents can always tell when you are trying to hide something.
In my youth I frequently found myself playing schoolhouse with my brother and the other children in the neighborhood. When real people weren’t around to torture with homework and pop quizzes, my Barbies and stuffed animals would suffice.
As I continued my academic journey, I began to admire my “second” teachers, who helped me understand the meaning of Dante’s Inferno and what y=mx + b really meant, but I never wanted to be them.
During my years at the University of Notre Dame I focused on my studies and formed my goal of getting a job that paid well and had great benefits, no matter what the cost. I received job offers from Fortune 500 companies and felt that I was on my way. But, in the end, something was missing. After attending a meeting for the Alliance for Catholic Education, a teaching and service program, I knew what I was called to do – what I was born to do. My blood screamed, “Teach!”
I believe that teaching is the most important vocation one can embrace. Teaching is a not a fall-back job. I believe that in order to call one’s self a teacher one must have it in their heart. In order to be an effective teacher, one must, like I did, realize that the students are the “third” teachers. I learn more from them on a daily basis then they learn from me.
In the end my goal was met. I receive a high pay in hugs and smiles and little moments of student enlightenment. The benefits are amazing – the knowledge that there will always be a future. That once Fortune 500 job has become my fortunate 500. I have been fortunate to have touched the lives of 500 students.
This noble profession of teaching is in my blood. My mother is a teacher. My aunt is a teacher. My brother is a teacher. My cousin is a teacher. I now proudly say, “I am a teacher.” And I can’t think of a better thing to have flowing through my veins.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.