It took me a really long time to figure out what major I wanted to declare in college. I felt, and I still feel, that eighteen is too young to decide what career path to choose. While many students change their major many times, I’ve never been casual about choosing and switching my major. I’ve always felt that choosing a major is a declaration of how your life will be lived. Choosing one major over another impacts the trajectory of your life in every way. Your career dictates where you live, your income, your ability to have a family, and many other elements of a person’s life.
After lots and lots of rumination and investigation, I chose a major: elementary education. I took a few prerequisite classes and realized I LIKE my major. This year, I’ve started taking my “upper division” courses, meaning that all of the classes I’m taking are major specific. Never again do I have to take a college algebra, American history, or statistics class… THANK GOODNESS!!! Because I’m now in major specific classes, I’ve come to realize that I LOVE majoring in elementary education! I’m sure you’re wondering why I love my major and being a pre-professional teacher so much, so I’m going to tell you! If you feel a list coming on, you’re right! Here goes:
20. Getting to look silly with your students while you dance around with them to the “Days of the Week Song.”
19. Being able to come home with funny stories everyday because kids really do do the funniest things.
18. Being able to learn from experienced teachers that have made inconceivable impacts in the lives of so many students.
17. The plethora of children’s books.
16. Being in a career that keeps you on your toes with ever evolving innovations and ingenuity.
15. Having the ability to be creative.
14. Connecting with families.
13. Watching the look on the face of a child when the “light bulb goes on.”
12. Being part of a career where there is a close network of supportive professionals to gain ideas from and give ideas to.
11. Increasing confidence in your ability to speak publicly and off-the-cuff.
10. The satisfaction of feeling like you executed a successful lesson that had the students really enthused.
9. The love and appreciation your students show you with hugs and thanks.
8. Learning to be an excellent problem solver.
7. Setting up an appealing, fun, warm, welcoming, and education-rich classroom.
6. Being able to share cute stories and tidbits with your students.
5. Watching your students become totally captivated by a good book.
4. The opportunity to learn from your students.
3. Watching students develop intellectually and become excited about learning.
2. Inspiring students to be the very best version of themselves and helping them to realize their full potential.
1. Knowing that you have the ability to mold the minds of students who have the potential to go so far. Every future neurosurgeon, president, Supreme Court justice, and every other professional walk through the doors of a teacher.
We’re living in a time when every motivation to become a teacher is being removed. Teachers are having their rights stripped of them, their benefits slashed, and their pay depleted. Nevertheless, the idea of being a teacher excites me in every way and I am not discouraged by the removal of so many of our impetuses to become a teacher. I love being an elementary education major and I love being a pre-professional teacher. The idea of preparing my classroom for the first day of school and the first day of “mind-molding” is so exciting to me! I’m glad I waited to pick my major because I know I’m headed in the right direction.