I felt my first desire to teach when I was eight years old and attending an aikido dojo. I would always want to help the younger children in any way that I could. I still remember how excited I was the first time I was asked to assist a new student in learning how to roll (I was about nine), which was the first thing a new student learned. To this day I wish I could remember how I accomplished that task.
When I was thirteen years old, I asked my Spanish teacher at Edmonds Homeschool Resource Center (now called Edmonds Heights), the alternative school I attended, if I could assist her in teaching classes and helping students with their work. I was her first ever Teacher’s Assistant, but I was not the last.
When I was fifteen years old, I began to volunteer as an assistant in classes at my karate dojo. About a year and a half later, I was lucky enough to get a job as an assistant instructor at the dojo. I taught there for over two years.
Midway through my eighteenth year, I went to college, and suddenly the teaching stopped. For the first year and a half, I did nothing in college that was related to my passion of teaching. It is odd to me that college would detach me from my passion, when the point of college is to help you to develop your passions. Now, after almost two years at college, I am in classes that relate more to my passion, but I am still not actively experiencing it. I get to observe classrooms, but never touch them. I get to read about teaching methods, but never implement them. And every day I can feel a giant hole in my life.
I have finally managed to get a job in which I get to teach, watch over, play with, and learn from children. I am hopeful that it will fill the void that has been in my life ever since I left the teaching world, and joined the ranks of college students seeking higher education. Higher education, with a lack of experience.
I realize how lucky I am to have had these experience. And I would like to thank my aikido instructors, my Spanish teacher, and my karate instructor for giving me the opportunities that shaped who I am, drove my passion, and opened up a world of possibilities.