Why this teacher TEACHES!

While I mainly wanted to use this blog to write about books and book reviews, and hauls, and everything else that maybe related to reading, I do believe that I should also write about what I do. I am a teacher, not just any type of teacher, I am a high school special education teacher who specializes in ENGLISH and I love and enjoy my job. To me its not a job, its an adventure that I embark on everyday and I take on the challenges every single day. This isn't to say that I don't have moments when I question my job choice, but I do not regret my choice in becoming an educator.
One question that I continually get and I think many teachers get is, "why did you become a teacher?" While that answer will vary depending on the day you ask me, and also what went on throughout the afternoon after school ended I may just say to you that, "I wanted to make a difference in this world, something that would seem small to others but would be huge for me." You could argue that I didn't have to become a teacher to do this, and you would be right but I felt that being a teacher was the right career choice.

When I first became a teacher I had this idea, or rather this goal and that was to save each and every student that walked through my door. Never did I imagine that I would encounter some of the hardest headed individuals in my life. I believed that if I told my students that they could do anything that they set their mind to, they would just eat it up and they would motivate themselves to become the future doctors, and lawyers and maybe even presidents of tomorrow. After about 2 months enter REALITY check. Being a teacher was not what I had expected at ALL. My students where the most difficult in the world (I may be over exaggerating a little but that's how I felt at the time.) I came home many afternoons and wondered what was wrong with me, and would I, or rather could I see myself doing this for a long period of time. After days and even months of debating I realized that this is exactly what I want to do. This job, this adventure is what I was made to do. And though I wanted to just walk out of the doors I never did and I stuck to it. 

 Teaching special education is by far the hardest job ever. My students are given labels beyond the ones that they already carry the judgment that they get go hand in hand with their skin color, ethnic background and socioeconomic status. My students are given these stigma's to further hold them back from being productive members of society. Now, this isn't to say that having learning difficulties is false, I am not saying that at all. What I found was that my students were given these labels because of minor infractions that they had when they were in elementary or junior high school. Now as their teacher in high school it is mu job to teach them that they are more than just a label, more than just a neighborhood and a color and a race. NO more boxes to be put in. Stop checking off boxes just start learning and living. I'm still learning and I'm still growing. I believe I learn as much if not more from my students than they learn from me. My joy comes from  knowing that they have become masters of their own destinies (I sound like I'm living in a fictitious world, probably sounds like one of the books I've read) but I do believe in everything that I say and do for my students (my kids as I call them) I go to bat for my kids to make sure that they are given what they need in this world to survive.

While I sit here and tell you of all the beautiful things that I feel about teaching there are also some not so good things that I feel about teaching. Many of my students were treated so badly from previous teachers that they've lost hope in teachers so when I come along trying to give hope and direction, they just brush me off and ignore what I tell them. Some kids lives are so bad that they cannot see the benefits of going to school, some kids are so educationally deprived that they cannot catch up so they refuse to try. Some kids just don't want to because they feel that the outside world is better than what school is offering them. Am I mad about this? Yes, I am. Can I understand why this happens? Yes I can. Do I accept it and not push forward? HELL NO. I cannot get mad at them because if you're continually told that you're incapable and then someone comes along and says you are, you're not going to automatically believe that you're able to. I've had my fair share of students drop out, or curse me out (not really, but you get the point) or just quit trying all together because of the things that they endured growing up. I realize that times are tougher now for the kids than when I was in high school. There are so much more worries in this world and though I want to shelter my babies (students) from them I cannot, but what I can do is arm them with the tools needed to make their lives better.

This teacher TEACHES because I feel that I provide something for the world to appreciate.  This teacher teaches because I am passionate about education. This teacher teaches, because if it wasn't for a teacher to give me sound advice and to be one of my biggest supporters I don't know where I would be. I learned to read because of a teacher. I learned to imagine and live in my books because of a teacher. I learned that the words on pages become pictures in my mind because of  a teacher. I learned, because of a teacher, therefore... because of a teacher I became one.

This is the main reason why I chose teaching. I want to do what my teacher did for me. I want to be that one teacher that students remember for years to come and in these last 5 years I can honestly say that becoming a teacher was by far the BEST decision that I have made in my entire LIFE!