This was originally an essay for my Education class I'm taking this semester and it's also a question I've received a lot since deciding that I wanted to teach. After graduating, at the end of this year's spring term, I hope to attend George Mason University to study Music Education.
As Albert Einstein said, “It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.” Teachers are not people who are stuck in school for eight hours, trying to weigh students down with homework projects. They are there to teach new things, to try and broaden students’ horizons, to help achieve his or her dreams by mentoring through their own experiences and advice, and to be a support system away from home.
One could argue that being a teacher is a tough profession; having to accept and adapt to different walks of life and different ways students interact with each other in the classroom is a challenge of itself. It is a teacher’s job to bring out a passion in their students to learn new things that they would not know they like. With that new passion a student grows and turns into a new person.
A teacher is not around just to sit in a classroom and to give students information, homework, and tests. They are also there to give advice and to offer a student help in obtaining the dream he or she wants to reach through their own personal experiences and advice. In high school, my mentor was my band teacher, Mr. Titus. I had explained to him that after sitting in his band class for three years as a percussionist, and in turn, becoming more passionate about music, teaching was what I wanted to do with my life. He helped guide me through creating lesson plans, learning how to play new instruments, as well as assistant-teaching the after school 5th grade band program. I became his right hand man; helping him around his office and in the band room. This allowed me to learn with hands on experience as to what being a teacher entailed and the hard work that’s put into it. Through this, he offered me advice on audition pieces for college and university, what bands and composers to research, and more; something I never would have done by myself.
Teachers have the ability to support their students, to help them feel like they have someone looking out for them and to lend a listening ear when no one else will. With keeping the lines of communication open, they are able to connect with students on a more personal level to share frustrations and obstacles that they are keeping inside. Teachers have more life experience that they can relate to their students to help them solve any problem or to just give friendly advice. Sometimes just sitting and listening goes a long way.
Though my original intent of being a teacher was the satisfaction of knowing that I can teach someone something new, through my own experiences I have found that teaching is not just what a teacher does. A teacher mentors you into creating those goals you set out for yourself and is there to support you when it feels like no one else will. Regardless of how one personally feels about teachers whether they be good or bad, teachers make a huge impact on the young, impressionable minds that sit before them in the classroom and I hope to do the same one day.