Saturday, January 22, 2011

Why I Want to be a Teacher

So I just got my packet of stuff that I have to fill out for TCRP (that's Teacher Competency Review Panel, for those of you who are not in the know...). Not quite the thick packet I was expecting. Seems that I don't have to actually go BEFORE the panel, like I thought. Which is good, because when I have to do stuff like that, I get nervous, and say "Um..." a lot. No, this "packet" had only 4 sheets of paper. An application of sorts, another sheet with the list of things that are required to be sent back (along with a breakdown of the necessary codes for eye and hair color, in which they felt it was necessary to clarify that auburn was only for hair, and hazel was only for eyes. UMMM...). (And hopefully they don't read my blog as part of the investigation, because I think that last sentence alone disqualifies me from ANY job teaching English.) Also included was two sheets of cardstock, for fingerprinting. Evidently there will be a thorough FBI background check.

On the list of things to send back were of course my application for licensure, my fingerprints (right and left), and an essay. Now, I have a degree in English. I ADORE writing papers. Okay, maybe not adore, but I do actually like it. And I'm good at it. One of my most proud moments in college was receiving a paper back from a much admired professor with a note that said, "Good syntax." I still have that paper, and yes, I do pull it out from time to time when I need a pick-me-up. I also read that paper and am amazed that my brain put that together. Probably the night before. With research pulled fully from the internet.

Back to this essay, though. They want me to tell them WHY I want to be a teacher. And I'm not really sure. I mean, I drifted through college, taking five or six different majors, graduating with a bachelor's degree in record time-and by record, I mean a record for the longest EVER. Seven and a half years, to be exact. And the only reason I got a degree in English? Because I like to read. And always have. And when you get a degree in English, the first thing people ask you is, "So are you going to teach?" My response was always a resounding NO. So here I am, being asked to write a paper on why I want to teach. A paper that will determine whether or not I get to teach. And I'm not sure what to say.

I could write that the vacation time sounds great, but I don't think that's what they want to hear. I could write that I want to be able to choose my kids' (because eventually there will be another one) school based not only on geography. Again, probably not the right answer. I could tell them that I've fought this tooth and nail, and that I've only recently been convinced (by God, no less) that this is the right path. Maybe. But with the current stance on God in school, I'm not sure that is the right response, either (although I'll keep it in mind if I apply to a parochial school!).

I do know that I want to share my love of books. All books, whether its Dickens or Patterson, Shakespeare or Blume. And of writing, although I don't think I'm great at it without being given a topic of research. And that in every job I've had since I was 16, I've taught in some capacity, whether it was a job as a Sunday school teacher, or a job waiting tables.

The good news is, and I'm going to cut this off abruptly because it's bathtime, that since the fingerprints have to go in with the essay, and will take some time to get done because I have to go to the police station during business hours, I have time to think this over. Chew on it a little bit. And maybe post it on my blog for proofreading purposes.

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