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This week’s feature is Janice Edwards, a fourth grade teacher at Franklin Elementary. Janice has always wanted to be a teacher and though she gave up the dream for a while, learned that you can change who you become with hard work and perseverance. She hopes to teach these traits to her students. Here is what Janice wrote about her reasons for teaching:

Why I Teach…

by Janice Edwards

It seams that teachers are asked why it is that they went into the teaching profession and what it is that keeps them coming back day after day. There are probably as When I was young, I always wanted to be a teacher. I loved school and learning…and I think I loved the idea of being in charge of my own classroom. Somewhere along the way, I lost that passion. One day, I distinctly remember my cousin telling me that I was definitely too impatient to be a teacher. I thought to myself, “Oh no! He’s right.” And then I gave up the dream. (Essay continued below video.)

Many years later I found myself as a freshman in college desperately trying to pick a major. I looked into some “sensible” business classes, but never got far because I didn’t care at all about working in a competitive, financially driven field. As I searched through the options, I couldn’t help looking back at teaching–my childhood dream. Now that I was older I understood something that I didn’t know that day my cousin’s comment prompted me to abandon my dreams. I knew that I had the power to be whatever I wanted. I could change. And not only that, I had already changed. I could be a teacher if I was willing to learn through failure.

I teach because I want kids to understand what I now know: They are in charge of who they become. I want to give them the support they need to become learners who aren’t afraid of making mistakes, and who understand that failing at something does not mean they can’t reach their dreams. Learning is a process and it takes time and effort. For so many kids–kids like my students–it just takes one caring adult to help them get where they want to go. I want to be that person for my students. Ultimately, that is why I teach.

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