It's In My Blood

"I should be a teacher."


"Oh, okay. How come?"

"Today in chemistry, I helped some kids understand some stuff. I explained how I think about the problems then showed them step-by-step. They took their quiz and Ace'd it. I mean, I know it would be harder with a bunch of kids but it felt good to help them. I mean, I really helped them do better on their quiz."

"It does feel good to make a difference, doesn't it? Yunno . . . if you want to help other people, there are lots of ways to do that, honey. You could be an engineer and help other people too."

"Yeah, but if I was a teacher, then I could coach too and help kids in and out of class."

"Yes, you could but you could be an engineer and be a coach."

"You sound like you don't want me to be a teacher. I know you work a lot Mom, but you always said that whatever I wanted to do when I grew up, I should find a way to help other people, right? Besides, teaching is in my blood."

He smirked at me like he had won an argument then opened the pantry looking for food. I watched my 16-year-old son locate an open bag of tortilla chips and retreat to the computer room. I didn't know if I should take his comments about becoming a teacher seriously or not. The week before, we had visited a college with a respected engineering program. As the professor described the various engineering majors, he also mentioned that they have a new teacher education program focused on STEM. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw something flash over his face. I dismissed it at the time. Now mixed feelings of pride and dread swirled in my stomach. I hated feeling this way about my own profession. I would never discourage my son from pursuing his passion, if teaching became his passion, but . . . things are so different now.


  1. Things are different now, Diana, but we need the young and the passionate to enter education. They are the future and they will make the difference. I understand your concern, but if it's his passion....No one could have talked you out of, could they? And, he is 16. He could change his mind a few times!

  2. Hmmm. Bright kids do make good teachers. And we need them, as role models in other areas as well. But I do know what you mean. Both of my kids teach within their other, outside of education, professions. They are naturals and know how important it is.

  3. I have two daughters who are teachers. At times when things are tough, I am sorry that they have followed me into this field. But mostly, I am so proud of them for the good work they are doing to change the lives of children.

  4. I think your son said it the best: "It is in my blood." How can you argue with that?

  5. Teaching, unfortunately or maybe fortunately, is and should be a calling. We need clear-headed, non-followers, who will stand up and say that the emperor has no clothes. So much is wrong with our society and education now that I fear we will never be able to fix it. I'd like to see the end of first graders being so stressed out that they are chewing on clothing. I'd like to see kindergarteners socializing and not reading and writing (gasp). I'd like to see preschoolers at home in momma's arms pointing to butterflies and baking cookies.
    We have too many people in education who are not called to teach, and who get caught up in tides and go with any new flow that comes down the mountain.
    Sorry...this is a post, not a comment!
    If he's a teacher, then that is what he will be, regardless of the field he enters. Even engineers need people to show them the "how" and "why".

  6. You can give your reasons and suggestions on his career choice, but eventually he has to make the decision. I think it is admirable that your son wants to be a teacher and is not afraid to say so at age of 16.


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