Some people are destined for their careers. My wife is one of those people.
From an early age, she had a passion for teaching, whether it was her stuffed animals or her younger brother. Among the favorite items saved from her youth is a heavily used chalkboard and the stool that her “students” would sit on during their lessons. After she had overcome her initial desire to be a “cash register” (not a teller, but the actual register), the idea of being a teacher seemed only natural. In her pursuit of colleges, she was only willing to look at schools that had both a solid business program as well as a dedicated education program. Her early jobs involved summer programs that appealed to her teaching passions. In truth, she never has had a job outside of education. Yet, this is just a small window into the woman.
To understand her, you must realize the dedication and focus that she brings to everything she does. She is the type of person to completely immerse herself in the subject at hand. Whether it is a seating chart for her classroom or planning our next vacation, my wife tries to completely understand the factors at hand. Her focus is incredible and somewhat unbreakable. It means if she says, “I’m going to research (blank),” that means she might spend 6 hours straight working on it. Until she is satisfied with her understanding and plan, she will not quit. This is the dedication she brings to her profession.
Finally, it is important to understand her educational background. My wife went to a top 15 University (Princeton Review). In a tiny education program, she had one on one contact with experts; she conducted research; she was observed weekly during student teaching (as opposed to 1-2 per semester). Since then, she has finished six years of teaching at both a suburban elementary school for the first 3 and an urban charter school for the next 3. She has national board certification, won awards, and trained a student teacher. She has extensive training in a variety of education practices including PLCs, character education, and other stuff neither you nor I have ever heard of. She also keeps up with the latest development and research. She is no first year teacher. She is damn good and if you choose to challenge her on a education topic, she can crush you, and will if necessary. Believe me, I know, having experience it myself and seeing poor saps try to win education arguments with her.
As you read on, remember that the system in place believes that dedicated people like my wife are the problem. They may not admit it, but the policies they adopt and the tenor they take, imply that teachers are the main culprits in why children are failing. If you agree, ask yourself the following question: If someone with the qualifications my wife possess cannot succeed, who exactly can?