EducationPop Quiz

Pop Quiz: Advice To The Would Be’s

What do you want to be when you grow up? A simple question that adults ask young children. Some children want to be a fireman or a chef. Some will tell you they want to be (insert latest movie hero here) and some will say a teacher.

When I was asked I always answered that I wanted to be an astronaut who teaches flute on Mars. So I covered a lot of ground there. However, the teacher part was the main part of the answer because ever since I can remember that is what I wanted to be and it showed.

When I was young I played school and I was very serious about my play time too. I had desks, a chalkboard (thanks dad for building me a chalkboard) and my elementary teachers would give me their old books every year to use. I had a very convincing classroom when I played at home. I remember standing in front of my “class” taking roll and teaching the “students” the constellations in the sky on my chalkboard.

I grew up knowing that my life would circle around teaching. I tutored throughout my middle school – high school career. I was assistant to my dance teacher and even gave private music instruction to make money to help get me through my undergraduate degree. I taught a class a few times as an undergrad and always ended up as a T.A. in grad school. When I got out of grad school I made one phone call and landed a job teaching astronomy and physics at a college nearby.  I think that it is obvious teaching is what I should do as a career.

Sometimes I get students who tell me that they are going to school to become a teacher. They ask me what advice I could give them to help them when they get that first class all to themselves. I never answer them right away without asking them a question first. The question is simple:

Why do you want to have teaching as a career?

If they say because they like kids and they want their summers off. I laugh and tell them to rethink their major. If they say they are inspired to help others better themselves or something along those lines then we have a much more in depth conversation. This brings me to the questions for you:

What advice do you give aspiring teachers? Have you ever told student to try a different field? What made you become a teacher?

 The Pop Quiz is a question posed to you, the Scholars of Doubt. Look for it on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays in the afternoon (ET).

Featured Image: Teacher Appreciation, credit US Census Bureau.


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JoDee is an adjunct faculty instructor of astronomy and physics at various colleges around her hometown in the midwest. When she is not trying to get her cat, Pixel, off of her laptop she is observing variable stars and researching black holes.

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