Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Why Did You Become an Educator? Here's My Answer.

Photo Credit: Krissy.Venosdale via Compfight cc

I went to a wonderful workshop celebrating and encouraging blogging yesterday where I listened to George Couros speak.  I am inspired to write this blogpost because of the question he left for us:  Why did you become an educator? What legacy do you want to leave?

Photo Credit: h.koppdelaney via Compfight cc

Why did I become an educator?
My easy but true answer to this is the standard, “because I love kids.”  That is why I went into education but there is more to it.  Teaching is fulfilling.  Teaching touches on my definition of success.  I don’t measure success by the size of my bank account or the make of the car I drive but by being able to touch and change another human being’s life.  Teaching gives me a chance to do that everyday, (not that it happens every day, mind you, some days are better than others).  I am given the chance to connect with children and help them set and achieve goals, find their passions and truly learn.  When I die, I will be happy because I have been lucky enough to have had the chance to do what I love, work with children and make positive connections.  

Another reason that I became an educator is because I had a positive experience as a student and I want to pass that along to my students.  There are some teachers who stand out clearly in my mind because of how they influenced who I became.  My grade five teacher, Mr. Dave Plottel, inspired me to become a teacher because he made learning fun.  One of the projects he did was a form of digital storytelling way back in 1984.  He set up a camcorder at the back of his classroom that was used to create short animations.  We created a cartoon flipbook on paper that we took still shots of and then turned into little animated cartoons.  It was soooo cool for a 10 year old.  We were taught in an “open area” where he and a grade 4 teacher team taught our two classes.  He was amazing, so ahead of his time and he is one of the reasons I became an educator.

The last but most important reason I became an educator is because my parents valued education and instilled in me a love of education.  My mother has less than a grade four education.  My father left school at 13 to help with the family farm and my grandparents didn’t even go to school themselves but my parents valued education as a way to a better life.  Being immigrants and not strong English speakers they relied on me to be their translator throughout my childhood.  Despite this, they attended every parent teacher conference even though I had to translate what my teacher was saying. (Hmm….the opportunities I had to embellish the truth…)  I am hoping that I can pass on this love of education to my own children.  

What legacy do I want to leave?

That is simple: For my students and others around me to love learning, to stay curious, to ask good questions and to be courageous enough to find the answers to the questions that they ask. 

Photo Credit: Krissy.Venosdale via Compfight cc

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