August 22, 2013

Why I want to be a Teacher

John Schmitt
Personal Statement

In March of this year, I left my life as a successful musician and songwriter living in Brooklyn to spend 4 weeks walking the Camino de Santiago in northern Spain.  During this time I walked over 500 miles in rural villages, climbed a dozen mountains, made friends with people from all over the world, and experienced more living in 4 weeks than most do in 40 years.

One of the many things I took away from going on this historic pilgrimage was a clear understanding of what I wanted to do with my life.  I vowed to be an instrument of change in this world, to work to educate children on the lessons of the past, and to get to work on it as soon as I got back.  It is my goal to teach history and social studies to adolescents.

My favorite teachers in both high school and college were all history teachers that instilled in me a great understanding of historical cause-and-effect.  I learned that by understanding the lessons of the past, as they relate to the present, we can shape and hopefully better our future.  I believe the role of social studies educators is crucial in helping form this better future, and I know that this is my calling in life.
When I have told those around me my desire to become an educator, I was told numerous times that this is "not the time" to get into the profession. Instead of deterring me, this sentiment only fuels my desire to take up the challenge of educating our children at a time when budgets, resources, and opportunities seem to be less and less.

Upon obtaining my Masters of Arts in Adolescent Education in Social Studies, along with my New York State Teachers Certification, I will begin work immediately on educating our youth, and use my talents in music to enhance the classroom experience.  I will also volunteer my talents and experience with distance running and baseball to coach students and promote an active lifestyle after school as well.

I am incredibly excited at the potential opportunity to study and become an educator.

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