When I Grow Up…

I’ve often heard students of mine make comments like “When I grow up I’m going to be a teacher, and I’m never going to assign homework!”  I always laugh because that used to be me growing up.  I always thought I would grow up to be a teacher, and I would think of all the things I would do differently or the same as my current teacher.  Well, most kids say they want to be a teacher, doctor, fireman, etc. so as I moved into my high school and college years I began looking at other career options.  An occupational therapist or an actuary sound so much fancier than a teacher, right? But as I bounced around with careers and majors, I kept coming back to teaching.  I took it as a sign when I was offered a teaching position, almost out of the blue, and at a time when I was unhappy with my current job.  At the time I was anxious beyond belief that I had made a horrible decision, but in hindsight it was one of the best decisions of my life.  I love what I do, and I cannot imagine myself doing anything else.  Sure, there are tough days, but I have learned from those days and used them to help make me a stronger teacher.

My mother has been a teacher for over 20 years and she has been a tremendous inspiration to me as well as a good sounding board when I am faced with a tough decision.  She too went to USC for her Masters in Teaching, and has always told me how valuable that education was.  Not only did it provide her with a solid teaching foundation, but it opened up opportunities at a time, like now, when teaching jobs were hard to come by.  Though I am fortunate enough to have a teaching position, I applied to the MAT@USC program because I want to be better prepared to teach ALL of my students.  Education doesn’t take place in a vacuum.  Each student is unique and faces different challenges, and we need to be equipped to teach them.  What better a place than a school based in the center of Los Angeles, one of the most diverse cities in the United States, to get that foundation and insight?