There's a Million Reasons Why I #LoveTeaching But Here's Just One

Feb 20, 2018 12:00:00 AM


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.
For as long as I can remember, I have dreamed of being a teacher. I love working with children, and I cannot see myself doing anything else with my life. My favorite part of working with the next generation is watching them grow and develop. I currently work at Small Miracle Preschool and Child Care in Omaha, Nebraska. I know when I come into work every day that I am helping to shape the foundation and future of our youth. After being accepted into the Education Academy at Millard West High School, I could not be more confident in my career choice. I interned in a fifth-grade class, and being with those fifth graders was the best part of my day. I guided them through reading and math lessons, but my focus was improving my teaching skills.

The Importance of Teamwork

I am an Educators Rising National Ambassador and the Educators Rising Nebraska State President. Even though I lead the organization, I find myself learning many valuable lessons from my peers. My favorite part about working with other leaders to plan conferences and volunteer activities is being able to network with other future educators. Through Educators Rising, I competed at the national conference in June 2017. I wrote a children’s book for the Children’s Literature K-3 competition, and I was able to read my book to a class of second graders during my Millard Public Schools Summer School volunteer opportunity. [pullquote position="right"]Seeing the second graders’ faces light up while I read my book showed me another way to incorporate my talents in the classroom.[/pullquote] I have had many influential teachers in my life. After seeing firsthand how they affected me, I now want to be that type of positive influence on my future students. My third-grade teacher, Mr. Naylor, is one of the influential teachers I had. I saw how he incorporated activities into his lesson plans. He made learning exciting, and he made me realize I wanted to do the same thing. However, last year, Mrs. Kvasnicka (in the Millard Education Academy) showed me the real reason I want to be a teacher. She taught me that in teaching there will be good days and bad days, but what matters most is how you learn and grow from those bad days. Teachers never stop learning, and that is why I love teaching.

Payton Steensma

Payton Steensma is a senior at Millard West High School in Omaha, Nebraska. She is a 2017–2018 Educators Rising National Ambassador.

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