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I can trace my interest in education directly back to my grandmother and her distinguished teaching career. As a kindergarten and Head Start teacher for many years, she inspired me through her creative teaching methods that resonated with her young students and made learning fun, similar to how she taught my sisters and me. I believe my internship at Aviara Oaks Elementary School offers me an unrivaled opportunity to reach my goal of becoming a teacher who educates, fosters, and instills confidence in young children just like my grandmother did for us. Through Carlsbad High School, I am fortunate enough to participate in “Internship Academy,” in which I am able to work as a “student teacher” in both a third and fifth-grade classroom at my local elementary school.  From this internship, I am developing invaluable, outside the classroom experience including developing lesson plans and working with children on a one on one basis that need special attention.  I plan to one day combine these experiences with my college education to make a positive impact on children in what is a crucial stage of their intellectual and moral development. I believe a great teacher represents someone who creates a lasting impact and embodies someone who their students remember and cherish forever. Teachers have the ability to generate long-lasting impacts on their students’ lives, and I hope to one day inspire my students as my teachers did the same for me. In order to be successful in this career field, there are certain qualities you must possess. On Thoughtco.com, author of the article, 7 Essential Qualities of a Good Teacher, Derrick Meador claims, “The single most important quality that every teacher should possess is a love and passion for teaching young people. Teachers who do not enjoy their job will find it nearly impossible to be effective day in and day out. Teaching can have a number of discouraging factors that make it a challenge. Yet, for someone who has the drive, passion, and enthusiasm for the job, you can get past these small hurdles. Besides, kids are smarter than we often give them credit for. They will have a better relationship and learn more efficiently from a teacher who enjoys what they do. Although my passion originated from my grandmother’s influence, this internship has opened my eyes to a lifelong interest in the career field of education. I sat down with Ms. Gilmore, a fourth and fifth-grade combo class teacher at AOE, and asked her what educational requirements must be met in order to be a successful teacher. She told me that, “Elementary teachers are required to start with a bachelor’s degree. Each state is different and some will require a master’s degree to go with the license or certificate. In college, students will be expected study subject and grade level material. Most schools require students to complete a supervised student teaching experience prior to graduation.” Next year I plan to major in education at a four-year college. From there, I hope to have multiple opportunities to determine where I choose to take my career path. I can become a student teacher or go back to school and get Master’s degree in hopes of one day working my way up in my career field. At the elementary, I also interviewed Mrs. Russell to find out what impacts upon lifestyle I should be aware of in order to successfully maintain a successful career in this field. She explained to me that, “Nobody goes into teaching for the money, but there are many benefits that outweigh salary. For example, if you want to raise a family you will have great work hours to do both, as well as breaks and weekends off.” I believe everyone should do what they are passionate about regardless of money. Nowadays people focus on what will bring in the most income but ignore what truly makes them happy. When I grow up I hope to get married and raise a family, as well as pursue a career, so teaching is a great path that allows me to do both. Of course it is inevitable I will have to take some time off if I eventually have children, but I will hopefully figure out a balanced lifestyle where I can continue my passion for teaching while still raising a family.Although some careers are “maxed out,” the projection for growth in the career field of education in the next ten years is projected to increase 9.3% according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. I believe once I graduate from college and complete a student teaching experience, I will have an easier time finding a job around 2022 then I would in today’s age.Although I have given these students lessons in multiplication and division, the impact they have had on my future surpasses anything I could ever teach them. When I first arrived on the Aviara Oaks Elementary campus, I remember feeling slightly skeptical about the whole experience, observing lessons and wondering if teaching was for me. Yet, once I came to the realization that thirty kids were relying on me, a new level of passion was elicited within me. My desire to positively impact the kids sitting before me, just like my teachers did for me years before, was fueled. I gained a newfound confidence knowing someday my students will remember the significant impact I had on their lives. I am lucky to have found a passion for my future goal at such a young age and can’t wait to take the next step in my career path at college next year. Although I am only seventeen and there is the possibility I may change my mind in the future, there’s a good chance one day I will be Ms. Harelson to young children.

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