When I was in elementary school, I, like many other teachers, wanted to be a teacher. I did all of the classic young child teacher things - I played school with my brothers and my stuffed animals, I organized all of my books to make a library in my bedroom, I did all of the extra math book pages when we took them home at the end of the year. I loved school and wanted to "do school" for the rest of my life.
When I hit middle school, I started to think more about lifestyle. At that point, I realized teachers didn't get paid all that much and I think I was even picking up on the lack of respect many teachers receive. Anatomy really interested me, so I started to think about going into the medical field. I was particularly interested in anesthesiology. I'm not sure why, but I was pretty certain I was going to be an anesthesiologist when I grew up.
Then I hit high school, and I really started to enjoy reading and talking about reading. I remember loving all of the shows on TV and in movies that showed people talking about books in fun coffee shops. It looked so warm and cozy and inviting. It was at that point that I decided I was going to major in something business-related in the hopes of owning my own coffee shop someday. I imagined it as a hip place where teenagers and young adults would come to enjoy a warm drink and great conversation.
It was around my sophomore year in high school when I picked up on my youngest brothers' struggles in school. My parents were having a hard time dealing with the school and they were frustrated with the teachers. I wanted, so desperately, to be the teacher they needed. The teacher who actually cared about them, who was willing to put in the extra time to help them succeed, and who believed in them, instead of stomping on their future all the time. That's when I made the final decision to become a teacher. I never abandoned that dream from that point on, and I'm so, so happy I didn't.
It's funny, now, to think of myself as an anesthesiologist or a coffee shop owner. I don't think I'd have the passion for those that I have for my students. Childhood ambitions are funny like that!