As a student, the piece that always stuck with me is what a great teacher did for me as a student growing up. In short, they challenged and pushed me to be the best possible student, dedicated student-athlete and overall person! As a child, my English was not a first language. It wasn’t until grade (2) that I could actually speak English. I credit this to a kind teacher – Mr. Dawson! He literally pushed me and reminded me I needed to be better, I needed to embrace English, I needed to fully commit myself to being a student and more importantly a person who did not see challenges as an obstacle, but a motivating factor.
As a first generation Canadian – my family believed in the value of education. To my mom and dad, the path to success was education. They pushed. I accepted the push and finished with 2 Masters degrees – an MBA and a Masters in Education.
In addition, I wanted to be that kind of teacher for students. Ultimately, this is what inspired me to teach. I wanted to demonstrate you could really impact someone by really caring. In my opinion, that is the difference from just being a teacher, going through the motions, and a good teacher. One who listened and took what he heard to help, nurture, and build. A teacher is more than an instructor or a lesson planner. A teacher remembers their audience and speaks to them in a way they can relate. Their job, in my opinion, is to get the most out of them. And in order to do so, a teacher must learn how to get the student to provide this. It isn’t forced. Once that great connection is made, a student will be more than willing to give it all they have.
Why I became a teacher
Every day I entered a long term career in education, began building networks, and built a personal brand. From the moment you start teaching to becoming certified, finding a job, keeping your job, to setting salaries, you need to respect yourself, find your voice and establish your story. Taking care of your body and mind is essential if you want to see a long-term career in education.
A fulfilling career in education happens when you stand for something and expect others to respect and follow you. Becoming a teacher is the ultimate career goal of most learners around the world. Every day you pass teachers the most important lesson in life: stay curious, listen carefully, and question authority.
We all have a story to tell: your own, a friend’s, or a colleague’s. Never forget to listen and ask questions when someone hasn’t answered them. You are able to guide successful teachers when you support their effort to produce incredible results. I am spectacular at encouraging others to think and act differently. I am always excited to meet genuine colleagues, answer questions, and volunteer my skills in their work. Remember when you met someone shared the same passion? Do you remember this story? Optimism is a fantastic way to lead. When something goes badly, being positive can push you to take on new challenges and skills. Going for a run or going on a long walk can become a nightmare when something goes wrong with your mental state. Going out onto the road and seeing new places can expose the unknown side of the world you live in.
We have the power to make a positive change.
Benefits of becoming a teacher
I have one dream in mind and one aim in life: to be a teacher for as long as I can. I believe that my story can inspire anyone to want to teach their children and be a good teacher, to meet their pupils’ needs and encourage them to develop to be the best person they can be. Being a good teacher is the most rewarding job in the world. I want to give other people hope and inspiration. I have to admit, some of my former students are now top business executives, lawyers, and businesspeople.
As a teacher for almost 20 years, I’ve been lucky enough to work with and learn from some amazing colleagues, and I’ve seen so many faces, from students to administrators, colleagues, and parents.
A message for the future generation of teachers
My journey wasn’t about wowing anybody with my expertise. I went from total despair to finding my inner self again. Don’t blow it before it has a chance to go right. If you can’t be perfect then at least try to be the best version of you, every single day. Realize that most people are not stepping stones and will soon come to appreciate what you have to offer. Forgive and forget.
My message to people considering teaching, Teach for what you love and never for why other people think you aren’t good enough. In teaching it’s about having fun, having people smile, and having fun doing what you love. Protect those you teach. Teach for the joyous moments and leave the pressure of productivity and evaluation at the door. Those lucky enough to find success are the ones with indomitable spirits.
Make your own path. Follow your heart and don’t be afraid to second guess yourself. I figured out teaching from experience, not from a publication, interview, or job service.