Why Did You Become a Teacher?
Historian and author Henry Adams once noted, “A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.” Affecting eternity may sound like an impossibly lofty job description, but it holds true if you stop and think about it. The work of a good teacher has a ripple effect, educating and inspiring students who can educate and inspire others, who can then educate and inspire even more people, and so on. The power to have a positive impact on so many lives for years to come is one of the main reasons why people decide to pursue teaching in the first place.
“Looking back at the 150-plus courses I have taught since 2005, I realize I am blessed and it is an honor and a pleasure to serve and teach and to share in the learning journey of my students,” said Bill Davis, Instructor at the Forbes School of Business® at Ashford University. “I exist to further the success of my students and to serve and teach with a servant transformational leader style.”
Dr. Jeffrey Hall, Associate Dean in Ashford University’s Division of General Education, added, “I got into teaching because I sincerely thought I could make a difference in the lives of the learners I work with.”
But it’s not just about impacting the lives of individual students. Many teachers view education as a vehicle to make significant changes in society.
“I got into teaching during my graduate studies,” explained Dr. Janni Pedersen, Assistant Professor and Chair of the Cultural Anthropology program at Ashford. “It quickly became clear that I found it rewarding to share knowledge of topics I am passionate about with students and to discuss important issues in class. I stayed because of education’s power in individuals’ lives and in society. An educated citizenry is one of the best investments a society can make.”
Dr. Pedersen also spoke of a desire to pay it forward. “My college education opened new dimensions in my life, professionally and personally, and I want to pass that on to others.”
Davis echoed Dr. Pedersen’s sentiments. “I enjoy lifelong learning, paying it forward, furthering the base of knowledge,” he said. “In my 10 years teaching for Ashford University, I have seen so many wonderful success stories.”
The reasons individuals decide to become teachers may vary, but the common theme is a desire to help others. That desire is honored on May 3 as we observe National Teacher Day. If you are fortunate enough to have a teacher in your life, let them know that you support their efforts. If you are in contact with any of your former teachers, tell them that you appreciate everything they did for you. And if you are a teacher, thank you for all you do to expand horizons and improve lives.
Written by Erik Siwak, Communications Manager for Bridgepoint Education