Teaching is one of the most rewarding careers one can choose; it takes a special person to devote his/her life to this very challenging career path. You’ve heard people talk about their jobs and how they go to work, collect their paycheck and look forward to retirement. Teaching is not a job. It’s a way of life. Colorado Christian University is proud to provide several degree programs in education, and we admire any student who chooses one of the most honorable of all professions.
Teachers Change Lives
Most adults can remember one teacher who had such an impact on their life, they recall every minute detail about that educator, the classroom, the work and what you felt and learned while in that class. Unfortunately, most people also remember a teacher who had a negative impact or treated you in a way that caused feelings of inadequacy or worthlessness. Did you have a teacher who affected you so positively that you decided to be a teacher early in life? Did you choose teaching to help make sure other children were never made to feel the way you did by an unkind teacher? Whatever the reason you have chosen to be a teacher, you will affect lives for as long as you’re in the classroom. One word, one gesture, one facial expression can reach a child’s soul; teachers sometimes never truly fathom the impact they have on the students they teach.
One Teacher’s Calling
We spoke to one former teacher (we will call her Susan) who said, “I knew I wanted to be a teacher when I was in third grade. I had just moved from New York to West Virginia in the middle of the school year and was in my first week when something happened that affected my life forever. My third grade teacher, Miss Miller, took me aside at recess and told me she saw I had been crying (I was so quiet I thought no one knew!) in class earlier that day. She said she was worried about me and wondered what made me so sad. I told her I just moved here and no one would talk to me because I was from New York and my dad was a doctor, so they thought I was rich (I heard comments and murmurings during class) and would be stuck up (their words).”
“Miss Miller said that I was the only new kid at the school all year and that the students were as scared of meeting me as I was of meeting them. She took me inside and popped pop corn in an air popper and gave me a big bowl to distribute on the playground. The kids came running over, and by the end of the day, I had 25 new friends and ended up having a great rest of the year. The kids had lots of questions about New York and wondered if I had a butler and a limousine. I explained I lived in a very small house and had a station wagon that was rusting around the doors and was wearing my brother’s old sweatshirt. I was not “rich” and lived modestly just like they did.”
“It was that day in third grade that I knew I wanted to do what Miss Miller did–make kids feel better. She noticed my sadness, which I thought I’d been hiding, and did something about it immediately. That small gesture changed my whole outlook on school, and from that day on, I looked forward to going to school every day instead of dreading it. My love of school continued until the day I got my master’s degree, and it continued during my career as an English teacher.”
“Years later, during a summer break, I ran into Miss Miller in a grocery store and told her about that day in third grade so many years ago and how it affected me. She looked truly shocked that something she did on the playground touched me so deeply that I chose English education as my major and was a middle school teacher. While she may only have a vague memory of that day, I remember it as if it were yesterday.”
Susan explained that every day she went to work as a teacher, she reminded herself that what she did (or did not do) in the classroom affected lives, and that whether she liked it or not, the words that came out of her mouth and her actions would make a difference in young lives each and every day.
Your duty as an educator? To make a positive difference: To inspire, not insult. To motivate, not minimize. To uplift, not beat down. To celebrate, not ignore. To create, not demolish. To reward, not reject.
Teachers have power and must use that power the way Christ would want you to. Construct a learning environment in which children and teens feel safe and cared for; understand that your time with them is limited and that what goes on in your classroom is only one tiny part of their world. But a part that will contribute to who they become as a Christian and a citizen.
Attend CCU–Become a Licensed Educator
The opportunities in the field of education are endless. CCU offers a variety of Colorado educator license programs:
- Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education with Licensing
- Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education without Licensing (theory based)
- Post-baccalaureate Early Childhood Education Licensing
- Special Education
- Special Education Generalist Endorsement
- Master of Arts in Curriculum & Instruction
- Alternative Teaching Licensing Program
Colorado state licensing programs typically consist of a combination of classwork and field experience. CCU education students are required to complete 800 hours of field experience, which begins your freshman year, and you will work with local outstanding educators to gain real classroom experience and see great teachers in action.