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Teacher Prep

I Learned That I Love Teaching While Helping My Own Parents

This post is part of a series by high school students who are sharing their love of teaching during #LoveTeaching week. The students participate in Educators Rising, a national organization for aspiring teachers and their mentors.
Teaching is said to be one of the most rewarding careers, and boy, were they right! The biggest reason why I love teaching is because it is life-changing. While it may not be immediately evident, as an educator you are affecting the lives of your students, as well as their families. Personally, this is something that I experienced while growing up. As an elementary student, I was a native Spanish speaker placed in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes because neither of my parents spoke English. After a couple of years and some amazing teachers, I eventually became fluent in English and was finally able to help my parents with the issues they faced due to language barriers, such as translating documents or phone calls.

Teaching My Parents

As a bilingual child, being able to help your parents with these things means the world because it signifies one less struggle that they will have to endure. Additionally, because of the dedicated educators who constantly motivated me, I was able to begin my journey here at the University of South Florida as a first-generation college student majoring in elementary education. These successes and experiences that I have had, such as studying abroad, are all things that I can now share with my parents and those teachers, and I can proudly say, “Thanks to you and your sacrifices, I am where I am today, and where I go, you go.” I use myself as an example to say that the gifts you share with your students as a teacher are sometimes multiplied over and over, and that there is power in teaching! In my case, because I was influenced by amazing teachers, I was able to pursue my goals and share these successes with my parents, who never had such opportunities. My parents were able to see all their goals and aspirations completed through me. This is something that I always carry with me into my classroom, to this day, with the hope of being able to change my students’ lives the way my teachers changed mine.
Nancy Garcia is a student at the University of South Florida. She is a 2017–2018 Educators Rising National Ambassador.

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