Why Teach?

"The thing about teaching is... you can't go in trying to be a hero. You can't see yourself as this great savior, trying to save the kids and all that. You just come in and teach. You do your best. Whatever happens after that, happens."


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The past several months has been such a humbling experience. From getting rejected from my top two post-college choices, to teaching my own class for the first time, to meeting 60+ social-justice-savvy teacher credential candidates, I can't help but feel no better than Joe Shmoe just trying to make it in this world.

When I left high school, I felt like a big fish in small pond. When I arrived at Cal, I was an anchovy in the Pacific. Now, I feel so-so in something medium sized.

There are 26.1 million high school teachers in the United States alone. A student who graduates from high school will have had about 40 teachers; if they graduate from college, they may have another 30 or so teachers.

I'm only one person, and soon, I'll only be one teacher. I'm not going to change the world.

But I can try to be good at teaching. Really good. I can try to share my knowledge with my students, and I can let my students teach me the things they want to teach me. I can wake up every morning wanting to be good. In fact, I can wake up every morning wanting to be better than the day before. I can give it my all... give my students my all.

In the end, I will teach not because I know I can be good at it or because I plan to save the world. I teach because it's something that I just want to keep working on no matter how bad I am when I start or how good I get later. I just want to keep working at it.

After all, what is teaching without learning?

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