These past two weeks I have been thinking about the idea of me being a future educator. I have wondered if I would do well in this profession, and most importantly, will I be passionate about it. I can’t say that I’ve always wanted to be an educator, or that there has been some real “aha moment” in my life that has led me toward education. I mostly don’t know what else there is, career wise, that is beneficial with an English degree. This has led me to really analyze and meditate on my feelings of being an educator. And the same question that keeps coming to me time-and-time again is: Do I have a passion for teaching or will I develop this passion?
After reading the chapters “Literate Stirrings,” and “Reclaiming the Classroom” in Mike Rose’s book, Lives on the Boundary, I feel that I can have passion for teaching. At first, it seemed to me that I had to have this passion already in me to teach. However, I see that Mike Rose wasn’t too sure of himself or really seemed to have his true passion for teaching just yet. It wasn’t until he worked with the fourth graders that were deemed slow learners. I could see that as he became more involved with the students, helping them become better learners through writing, that he really felt that he was making a difference. He seemed to really find his niche in teaching. This really helped me to see that passion for teaching can grow inside of the person, if they are really honest about wanting to teach and help others become better.
But, it wasn’t until I started to read how he was helping the Veterans through the UCLA program, that I believed that passion for teaching can spread like wildfire inside of the individual, as well as others. The passion tha Mike had for his students was evident in the fact that he, and his aides, went the extra mile for the students. Not only did he spend his personal time after class to help them, but he even went as far as to showing up at their house to keep them accountable for their own studies. This was, if you want to call it, the turning point for me. I could see myself going that far for my future students, and also feeling the desire to actually do it too. I feel, through these two chapters, that if I am honest about my pursuit in becoming an educator, and care about the student’s success in education, that the passion will be there for me when I need it. That I can have the passion to teach and to see my students become the best person that they can be. I understand the importance of taking this profession serious, as the blase emotion cannot be a part of teaching. The students deserve more than that from their teacher. I will always continue to evaluate my feelings about teaching as I strive to become an educator and while I am one. If at any time I feel that I have lost the passion, then that should be a sign to me that I should stop, and let someone more passionate than me teach.