The desire to become a teacher is something that the younger version of myself would have never expected. As a child, I wanted to pursue an acting career. For many years when I was younger, I had my mindset that an actor was going to be my profession. I would always participate in school plays and drama classes with hopes I’m receiving the right skills on becoming an actor. However, as I matured I realized that becoming a teacher is something that is meant for me. Such thoughts did not appear overnight, but came with maturity and realization of the people I have been lucky to have around me. Being said, as time went by I looked back and realized that my desire to become a teacher has been influenced by my grandfather, my parents, and lastly my first elementary school teacher.
Firstly, I was born in Albania, which is a third country. I had lived there for ten years, always sticking by my grandpa’s side. My grandpa was a peoples person and would do anything to bring a smile to someone’s face. I noticed the teacher qualities he displayed in his involvement in our small community. He would give free tutoring to others and myself in his spare time because he loved to see people succeed. In addition, my grandpa had the teacher quality of building strong relationships with people, something I grew to appreciate. However, when he passed away it felt like I needed to represent him more, and really continue his footsteps. I asked my father what grandpa wanted to become when he was in high school, and he said “a teacher”. After becoming more mature, it all started to make sense, the volunteering, tutoring, and strong relationships in the community showed true signs of a teacher. I realized the love my grandpa had for teaching. With such realization, I decided that I will make my grandfather proud and become the teacher he always wanted to become. I realized it was the right thing to do considering he raised me and I had almost become the same person. I realized my love for math and helping others much like him.
Secondly, looking back to when moving to Canada. My parents became a massive factor in wanting to pursue teaching and why it is the right choice for me. My parents, much like my grandfather, never had the opportunity to pursue their degrees. My father always wanted to become an electrician and my mom always wanted to get her license as a hairdresser. However, they continued to learn the skills for their set profession knowing they couldn’t afford the education. Helped me realize the hard work and dedication both my parents have, which I have learned from. I began to appreciate the sacrifice my parents made for me to receive a higher education. This motivated me to work hard and pursue my education degree. My dad, much like his father, was a people’s person and a true believer in equality. When moving to Canada, my dad always explained to me that I am going to see many races other than what I am used to, however, he always mentioned that we are all the same. When I mentioned the idea of becoming a teacher to my mom early in high school; she sat me down and explained the power a teacher holds in building a community and future. Additionally, my mom made me fall in love with teaching when she gave me the job of tutoring my younger sister in math when she was struggling. Even though I did not enjoy it at first, I began to appreciate the power of teaching when seeing my sister improve. Overall, I have become even more dedicated to finishing my degree and not taking the opportunity for granted. I am determined to make a difference for many student’s educational and social skills for many generations to come.
Thirdly, the last person who has inspired me to become a teacher is my fifth-grade teacher when I moved to Canada. Looking back, my fifth-grade teacher had every quality I want as a teacher. She was caring towards all of her students and made each one feel special. She always made it clear with students that they always have someone to talk to. I remember when I first walked into class, my teacher made two students show me around the school and spend their lunches with me. She knew I had very little communication skills, and she did her best to make it easier for me to really feel welcome. The approach was effective, as one of the students she asked to show me around the school is still my friend eight years later. In retrospect, I learned important skills in communicating with foreign students from my teacher. When giving instructions my teacher would use google translate to help me understand what to do, and help me communicate back. Another experience that comes to mind is how my teacher handled the situation when I was bullied for the way I dressed and my accent. My teacher sat me and the other student together and helped him understand that it is normal to be different, but that does not mean one student is superior to another. She made us both spend the day with each other and sit together, and we started to become friends. Overall, my teacher made learning academically and socially much easier, and I want to follow this example and impact many for years to come.
Overall, even though becoming a teacher was not what my younger self had in mind. I have matured and am passionate about teaching due to the influence of my grandfather, my parents, and lastly my teacher. I began to realize the passion my grandpa had for teaching when looking back at his willingness to help others in the community or schoolwork. He had all the qualities of a great teacher but was never given the financial opportunity to achieve it. However, due to my parents, I am given the financial opportunity and I am determined to receive my education degree. Lastly, my first teacher’s way of making a foreign student feel welcome and involved is something I aspire to achieve. Along with, her teaching skills, breaking the language barrier, and handling discrimination have now become something I look back on and appreciate.