I have been in the education field for almost a total of 4 years, give or take. When you think of a teacher, you think of someone, male or female, who has gone to school and went through a certification program to earn a certificate and become a teacher. Well, I consider myself a teacher. No, I did not go through a certification program in college. My BS was in Coaching Education. No, I did not complete the alternate route certification because my relocation did not allow me to carry over my test scores and training.
HOWEVER, I am a teacher. How, you ask? According to Merriam-Webster, a teacher is defined as a person or thing that teaches something; especially : a person whose job is to teach students about certain subjects. In the 15 years I have been employed, the majority of those years, I have been a teacher. No matter the job title, I considered myself a teacher. I was a teacher in 2000 and 2001 when I was a student worker as a recreation aide TEACHING kids on the subject of sports, basketball specifically. In 2007-2008 and 2010-2011, I was a volunteer girls basketball coach who TAUGHT on the subjects of sportsmanship, fostering good character, and team building. I also was a teacher at a children’s shelter TEACHING at-risk youth, ages 9-18, on the subjects of responsibility, life skills, patience, anger management,etc. Shall I continue? Yes. In 2008, I was a floater turned teacher in less than 2 months, and I was given my own class. They were 2 year olds, but that’s the critical age where they learn, develop, and pick up a lot. From 2011-2013, I was a coordinator at a Job Corps center TEACHING at-risk 16-24 year olds in the subjects of anger management, communication, developing employability skills, accountability, and recreation. Presently, I am a teacher who is TEACHING struggling babies in grades 2nd through 5th grade, who are below level in the subjects of reading and math. These include English speaking and non-English speaking babies. I am also TEACHING and coaching 7th through 12th graders in Track and Field. Last, but not least. When you become a mother, your are automatically a teacher. You are their FIRST teacher. So, with two boys, I am TEACHING them everything they need to know about life, being boys, and how nobody will love them as much as their parents do.
SO, I said all of that to say this. I don’t need a certificate to tell me I am a teacher. The certificate helps my PAY, not my PASSION. For someone to doubt me professionally as an educator because I am not CERTIFIED, I would look at them and say, “I am QUALIFIED.” I didn’t choose to teach or be an educator as a career. It chose me. It’s my calling to help inspire, build, and TEACH youth that they are somebody when the world thinks otherwise. When you can go to bed at night, knowing what your paycheck is every month, and wake up with a smile and ready to do it all over again, then, you’re not going to work everyday, you’re living life everyday.
One of my favorite quotes that a teacher, who is also my grandmother, always taught me is that:
“Your ATTITUDE determines your ALTITUDE.”
To those new to the teaching field or considering to become a teacher, be sure that your interest is about the kids first. When we are dead and gone, they will be living up to the standards and expectations we have taught and held them to. Are you a teacher?