Why I Want To Be A Professor

I have spent so many hours of my life in school. I bobbed between several degrees- Elementary Education, Nursing, Human Services. I struggled between finding a lucrative job and doing something that I actually wanted to do. I had an even harder time when I realized that the more lucrative jobs required heavy loads of math courses and I kept failing each course. My GPA began to plummet with each failed attempt at doing the right thing.




By the time I was 24, I realized that I needed to stop wasting time. So many new posts on Facebook showed acquaintances graduating from their Masters programs and it hurt me to see exactly how much time I had wasted. I decided it was time to put myself first and work on something that I am passionate about rather than something that proved more lucrative. This lead me to enrolling in my university's Literature program. As I transferred my credits over, I saw those failed attempts on my transcripts. Little blemishes that tarnished my otherwise very good GPA. I vowed to blast past that and work hard to make those grades fade away.

As I was basically a Senior (credit-wise), my classes were almost all online. From about ages 19-23, all of my classes were online. This was my first time back in the classroom in 4 years. Wracked with anxiety, I considered not going. I thought about sitting in the back of the class and not interacting with anybody. I thought I was going to be the oldest one there and that everyone would think I was a loser. Not only was I not the oldest one there but, I also made friends. A few of the friends I've met are even going to be at my wedding, one is even going to be a bridesmaid.

I put myself out there and allowed myself to be vulnerable and open to new connections which lead me to feeling inspired daily. I was writing again for the first time in years. I even completed projects, something I don't do often when I'm writing. I started to feel pride in myself and in my work again and began receiving recognition. My grades were soaring, my creative and technical writing skills improved, and one of my poems was published in the university's literary magazine.

But, I'm sure you're asking, "What does this have to do with you wanting to be a professor?" I'll get to that now. I was an editor in my school's newspaper in high school, something I enjoyed immensely. I worked with people and helped them to improve their writing but hadn't really gotten much of a chance since. Last night, however, a friend of mine wrote a paper for her official first college class. She was nervous about how it turned out and spent hours on something so simple, overthinking every move she made. She sent me the final draft and I realized that I could help her. I saw so many things that she did right and a handful of silly mistakes scattered throughout and I wanted to teach her how to improve. I felt excitement rushing through me as I told her the things that I would change and why. There was no malice in my auditing of her paper and I truly wanted to help her to get even better than she already was.

When you're in university, professors expect a higher level of writing from you than what was provided to the teachers in high school. They expect that the teachers have done their jobs in adequately instructing their students and that when they reach university that they don't need help. And if they DO need help, they need to find a tutor or check out the campus' writing center. As the professors in university grade the papers, they usually leave notes at the bottom and usually no notes throughout. The notes at the end of the paper usually say something like, "sentence structure needs improving" or "too many commas used" or "need to work on developing more complex ideas and sentences." And that's it. No explanation as to how to improve upon these errors.

A lot of professors assume that they're going to be receiving a certain level of writing that, in the English field, we're just not seeing it. Whether there's been a gap between school or students haven't been taught aggressively enough in writing and English subjects, there are so many people who think that they aren't good writers. And honestly, they're just okay. But they can be GREAT. Technically writing is something that can be taught to do very well and making that extra effort for a student makes all of the difference in the world. And that's why I want to teach. I want them to have a resource right in front of them instead of having to schedule office hours with me or having to go down to the writing center. Students should be getting what they paid for because education is a choice and it is an expensive one and I want my students to know that they've made a good investment. In me, in themselves, and in their future.

Pictures by Death to Stock Photos

Comments

  1. It always seemed to me that although you can trained the writing skills, it is more than a talent.

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  2. Well as you said, we all spend a lot of time of our life in school. Teaching is a gift, however I made a lot of training, seminars and other things for adult education, would not consider going back as a professor :)

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