Choosing education despite challenges

December 1, 2023

December 1, 2023

By Anna Marie Plastiras, Guest Writer

Choosing a major is something that incoming college students typically worry about. However, I didn’t have any trouble with that because I have always known that I wanted to enter the education field. Ever since I was a little girl, I only ever imagined myself becoming a teacher. Education is a field that is humbling and underappreciated, but it is also so rewarding. When I mention my future career, many people ask why I want to become a teacher when there’s so much unknown regarding new legislation, school safety and more happening every day. 

As I am about to enter student teaching next semester, I have been reflecting on why I have chosen to enter the field of education. Not only has it felt like a calling that the Lord has placed on my heart, I also can’t imagine myself doing anything else. I believe that, no matter the unknown, the classroom is full of opportunities to minister to and help others. With a full classroom of students, I have an opportunity each and every day to show my students and their families the love of Christ. 

If I have learned anything from my education classes here at Ouachita, it would be the fact that we should always be teaching like the Master Teacher Himself, Jesus. This has encouraged my faith walk but also has motivated me even more to go into the field and impact students like my professors here have impacted me. 

Growing up, I had so many amazing teachers. They were adults that I looked up to, learned from and gained inspiration from that helped me grow into the person I am today. 

I love when someone says to me, “Think of a teacher who has inspired you.” This is because  at least one person’s name comes to mind instantly. The teachers that I’ve had that inspired me the most were all resilient, wise, compassionate, genuine and Christlike people. Their consistent leadership and mentorship have been things that I have closely watched and admired in my time from primary school to my senior year of college, where I am now. 

So, why am I going into the field of education? I want my name to come to my students’ minds when they think of a teacher who has inspired them. This is not in an attempt to gain popularity or to be recognized for my work, but its with a hope that in the future, my students remember feeling loved, seen and heard in my classroom. I want them to remember the times when I asked them how they were doing or the times when I gave them a hug when no one else would. Teachers are there for the little moments in life. These mean the most because they’re memories that will never be forgotten. Small things like kind words, a high-five, going to their athletic events, going to their concerts and always being there for them mean the most, especially during elementary school. When those students grow up, they may not remember all of the things that teachers taught them how to do, but they will remember how their teachers made them feel. 

In the education department, we like to ask the rhetorical question, “What’s your ‘why?’” Each education major’s ‘why’ is different, but mine has remained constant throughout my college years. My ‘why’ consists of all of the things I have mentioned here. My future students are my ‘why,’ and I hope to make a difference in their lives during my time as an educator. 

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