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.
My education is the one thing that no one can take away from me. As the daughter of two hardworking parents, I have always been told to take advantage of the opportunities that come my way. My parents were born in Mexico and never had the chance to finish their elementary education. They were pulled out of school to help support their growing families by working in the fields. I benefitted from their hard work, but it didn't always show—I was not the best student when I was younger. I had decent grades, but I never worked to my full potential. In 2009, my dad was deported after being detained in prison for almost six months. Having my father taken away from me was completely devastating, and the rest of my third and most of my fourth-grade year, I ate lunch with my school counselor every day. Thinking back to those dark times in my life still makes me tear up. I ended up moving to Nebraska halfway through fourth grade to be closer to my dad’s family, and my new teachers were very supportive and understanding. In my first two years of high school, I realized how much of an impact my past teachers had made on me. They helped me through so much, especially my school counselor in elementary school. They supported me through some of the hardest times in my life and helped me adjust to a new environment. I owe it all to them. They made me realize how much teachers do for us as students, and I learned to appreciate everything they do. I’ve gone through a lot in high school, and the faculty at my school has been so understanding and flexible with the needs of students like myself. Teachers have a huge impact on the lives of their students. They do so much to motivate us to reach our full potential, but many students never learn to appreciate it. There are no words to fully express my love for teaching, but because of the amazing teachers I’ve had, I know that teaching is what I want to do for the rest of my life. I want to help my future students the way that my teachers have helped me. The way that my own students react whenever I walk into the room is a wonderful feeling, and I love going into the classroom and being able to be around kids who are ready to learn. It took me a long time to find my passion, but I finally found it, and I know that teaching is what I’m meant to do.