Specifically, why I am a social studies education major.
I’ve heard it from just about everyone. They ask what I’m studying in college, and their eyes widen in surprise when I tell them social studies education (history teaching). People usually then say, “I could never work with high schoolers,” to which I reply, “I need people who can understand my sarcasm.” However, that is not the only reason I am studying to be a teacher. Here are some of my other reasons:
- I want to do something to change the world, but I don’t necessarily want to be recognized for it.
- I want to challenge my students to think differently about life and school.
- I want to be an example for others to look up to.
- I want my students to have a work ethic unparalleled to any of their predecessors.
- I want my students to enjoy learning.
- I want to inspire them.
- I want to do something I love.
- I want other people to see why I love the things I do.
- I want to do something I’m good at.
- I want people to understand that history is just more than names and dates.
Whenever I say the word education, people often think of elementary education. While I know many people who are el ed majors (one of my best friends included), it is not something for me. I do not want to teach kids basic things like tying their shoes or how to read. I do not have that kind of patience. I know how to command respect, and I have the sass to match high schoolers.
I know being a teacher is never an easy job as you always work with people, including students, colleagues, supervisors, and parents. But those that know me know that I need interaction. I cannot sit in front of a computer all day (and no offense to anyone who does. I applaud you. But even sitting here every week is taxing for me and I get distracted often). Although I have a well-rounded brain where I could do anything I want, there are many jobs I have no interest in. I have never wanted to be in a health profession because it was never something I thoroughly enjoyed as much as, say, my sister or the multiple others I know in or studying to work in the medical field. I love building things, but I could never be in construction. I am not artistic enough to be an engineer or an architect. I could go on, but I think I have made my point. Teaching is something I love. I have been doing presentations in school and giving speeches for about as long as I can remember.
Even this semester, my favorite class without a doubt has been SS 150, or the official name: Introduction to teaching social studies at the secondary level. Professor Sarah Drake Brown is wonderful. There were about twenty-five of us with such diversity, from football managers to a cheerleader to a pep band player to Honors students. We have worked on different projects with different groups, including a presentation about a movie (ours was Lean on Me, which if you have not seen it, I highly recommend. Added bonus: main character is Morgan Freeman) and we even planned our own miniature lesson based off The Devil in the White City. Each person sat in on three different teachers in the course of the semester, and we all got to make our own portfolio website. There was hardly ever a dull moment, and I often looked forward to it. It encouraged my thoughts of why I want to teach; I am truly sad it is over.
Teaching is one of the only professions where you get to plan out your own schedule. I can talk about pretty much anything I want, so long as it lines up with governmental standards. I do not have to cover everything in the book.
Also, people do not often ask what I plan on doing with my degree because it is obvious, but teaching high school is just a stepping stone for me. My eventual plan is to get my doctorate and teach at the collegiate level. (Then I can joke that my parents produced two doctors, since my sister is going into the medical field!)
I encourage you to follow your dreams. Do not let other people’s setbacks set you back. We are all different. Some people can be engineers, some artists, some chefs, some doctors, and some scientists. But the greatest people are teachers. 😉