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Opinion: Becoming a Teacher is Becoming More Not Less

Educator Insight: Becoming a Teacher is Becoming More

When it comes to teaching, there are some who bring light and energy to the field, and others who feel drained and frustrated. 

So says Tricia Ebner, a middle school English teacher who discusses the practice of being a teacher in her post on TeachingQuality.org. 

In her post, Ebner said that in order to become a teacher, you must also become "much more." She reflected on something her high physics teacher said to her after telling him that she wanted to go to school for secondary English education: "But you can do so much more!"

Ebner said that she found herself doubting her decision. 

We all know it’s a challenge in education to attract bright, intelligent, motivated, passionate people to the field. I've heard students--even my middle schoolers—comment, 'My parents say they’ll support just about any job I want to do, except teaching.' What’s worse: some of those statements have been made by teachers’ kids. Yes, work in a field where over 30% of new teachers leave within the first three years. We work in a field with high demands. The hours are long. The work can be frustrating and arduous.

"But it is an amazing field, too," Ebner added.

It is so wonderful to watch a struggling student suddenly experience the 'light bulb' moment, when confusing new skills or concepts suddenly become clear. When I found a poem slipped under my door, written by a student who moved on from my classroom to high school, I smiled and proudly tacked that poem up by my desk. I tucked a letter written to me by one of my students in my briefcase. Writing in the third person, she penned: 'She taught us how to think.

Ebner she was "fortunate to have several high school teachers I deeply respected, including my supportive English teacher, band director, and choir director."

"So when someone says to you, 'I’ve been thinking about becoming a teacher,' pause for a moment," she wrote. "What is the 'so much more' that you do? What is the 'so much more' that this person can bring to teaching? What response can we give to support and encourage others in doing so much more for our students?"

Read the full story and comment below. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor

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