If I could pinpoint one word of encouragement that I heard the most growing up, it would probably be this: You can do anything you set your mind to.
While many, many times I have fallen short of what I “set my mind to,” I can’t help but look back and be thankful that I was told this so often, of course by my parents, but especially by my teachers. Sometimes that phrase was the difference between trying and giving up.
I realize now that I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have teachers who believed in my ability to succeed. I’ve had so many opportunities, some I’ve passed by and others I’ve taken.
That being said, I know this hasn’t been and isn’t the case for everyone. In fact, I’ve realized more and more how many children around the world are missing out on opportunities for education.
This is why I need to teach.
Not only is there a lack of educational opportunities and materials in general for people in many parts of the world, but there is also a lack of encouragement, everywhere. For many students, I know that success is only a matter of having someone to believe in them.
With all my heart I want to be that someone. I want to tell every single one of my students someday, “you can do anything you set your mind to,” because they deserve that kind of encouragement. They deserve as many of the opportunities as possible that I was fortunate enough to take or leave on a whim.
This is not to say that we lack teachers with compassion, because I had more than I could thank growing up. But the world needs more, and more that show love to every student, who see potential in all people, regardless of background or socioeconomics or even attitude.
Everyone deserves an education.
This is why, from the age of fifteen, if not sooner, I knew I wanted to be a teacher. Since deciding this, I have been met with new challenges and opportunities along the way that have only increased my desire to teach.
Today I’m in my second year of working on my BA in Elementary Education at Howard Payne University, where the blessings and opportunities have abounded even more! I’m eagerly learning more so I can teach more, that one day I will be able to support and encourage my students – my students who will be able to do anything. Anything they set their minds to.
Me on my first day of student observing.
Why did you decide to do what you do? I’d love to hear!