We were overwhelmed by the responses to our question; why do you teach? Teachers from across the state responded with powerful messages about what inspired them to become an educator.
I teach because it is the highest calling, the epitome of service, and a cause worth fighting for with every ounce of my being. I was born to a single mother who raised three boys on her own by working three jobs. She worked the graveyard and the morning shift and slept in the afternoon only when she wasn’t working another part time job. She is the smartest, hardest-working person I have ever known. If she had the opportunity to fall in love with education, particularly reading, she could be running a company by now. Instead, she still works two jobs.
Obviously, I come from an economically disadvantaged background, which has its pros and cons, but also rarely comes with a passion for education. I wasn’t born with it, but it is an all-consuming fire that drives me now. I teach so that I can make a difference in a student’s life, hopefully many students’ lives, so that they can realize their full potential, much like my teachers did for me. I am teaching to my mother, my brothers, and myself.
It is hard not to be passionate. I have an awesome opportunity to teach in the same place I received my education and am able to give back to a community that gave so much to me. Thanks for listening and keep the fire for improvement ablaze!
Hans Ballew is teaching for his ninth year at Boyd’s Creek Elementary School in Sevier County.
Tell us the story of why you teach. What inspired you to enter the classroom? Contact us.