Today, districts across the nation are reporting a teacher shortage. This was not the case in the last generation. I can remember when teens were counseled not to pursue a career in teaching because there were no jobs available for teachers.
Teaching was one of the few professions open for women, and as a teacher, my grandmother was compensated as well as most other professions in that day. There was no continuing education, no professional development and certainly no expectation of earning a master’s degree. When my grandmother married, she retired, and her position was filled by another young woman.
Today, all professions are open to women, yet the call to teach is still a special one. My calling was very different from my grandmother’s. In fact, teaching was not my first career, but I would soon say teaching chose me.
I trained for the interior design profession, but when I started my family, I resigned. After devoting 16 years to nurturing my sons, I began to look for a new endeavor and a way to pay for my children’s college education. I began as a substitute at their Christian school and quickly discovered that I loved teaching.
Teaching is not always an easy choice. Today, there are high expectations and multiple demands on those in the profession. Novice teachers are expected to earn their graduate degree a few years after completing their initial certification. Then, they must complete hours of professional development each year to maintain their certification. To add to this there are the responsibilities of teachers. They are responsible for trying to help each unique student reach his or her full potential.
So why would I choose teaching as a career?
I suppose I could say that teaching chose me.
As a parent, I thought I was well prepared to teach content in a classroom. I had wrangled Cub Scouts, managed carpools full of boys, and led youth groups. I had taught Bible studies groups of over 200 women.
How hard could teaching be?
I soon discovered, just as interior design requires special skills beyond decorating and matching colors, teaching requires far more than public speaking abilities and a good rapport with students. Assessments, lesson planning, classroom management, and interpreting standards are all specialized skills that must be learned, practiced and adjusted to meet the needs of individual students. Fortunately, Grand Canyon University’s graduate program has allowed me to get the training I need to do all those things while continuing to teach in a Christian school.
Why do I teach?
For me, it is a calling, a ministry, a passion. I get to share my knowledge and my faith every day with the next generation of world leaders. At the end of the day, every day, I know I made a real difference in the life of a teen.
There is no way to put a price on that.
Grand Canyon University’s College of Education helps students prepare to be highly effective educators through our mission of learning, leading and serving. Learn more by visiting our website or requesting more information.
More About Diana:
Diana Anderson earned a BS in interior design from San Jose State University in 1986. Having volunteered in classrooms for many years, she decided to enter the classroom full-time and pursue a teaching career. The Christian school her sons attended in Las Vegas offered her a secondary social study teaching position, and she received a teaching certification from the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) in 2008. Relocating to Richland, WA in 2010, she began teaching junior high social studies at a small Christian school and eventually added elementary and junior high art classes to her schedule. After her sons graduated from college, Diana decided to pursue her graduate degree in secondary education through Grand Canyon University. Currently completing her student teaching, she earned the Exemplary Student Teacher Award for graduate students. She looks forward to receiving her Washington teaching certificate this summer.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University.