By Mollie Miller
I first found out about the FEA when I was a freshman in high school. My older sister was involved with the school’s FEA chapter as well as president of the FEA’s state board. In my sophomore year I joined the school’s chapter. My first experience — around Thanksgiving — was helping with a pie walk. All the proceeds were used to purchase presents for children whose mothers had been incarcerated and were unable to give gifts to their children. After that event we focused on helping elementary schools in a neighboring city. Their schools did not have all the resources we had access to when we were younger so we began to hold book and supply drives. We were so successful raising awareness and receiving donations that the book drive has become an annual event.
For me, the FEA has opened my eyes to the underlying issues that occur at the political level in education and these issues ultimately affect thousands and thousands of schools, most of which are in desperate need of resources and assistance. My FEA experience also has given me a tremendous amount of hope for the future of education. Much needs to be accomplished but with more awareness being raised every day, we as future educators can achieve the impossible. We are all striving to make sure every kid in the U.S. receives the education and support he or she deserves and it is this common goal that has led to great success.
Teaching is my calling
Through the FEA I have become aware of the pressing issues surrounding education at the state and national level. I also have learned that by making the choice to become a teacher you are accepting responsibility to care for, teach, support, learn from and love every student who walks through your door. There will be many moments where I might find myself in over my head, but in the end the smiles and happiness you bring to your students is something you can’t put a price on and it’s those moments I truly look forward to. Every person I have talked to involved with education has shared a personal story where not only did they make a difference in a student’s life but that student made a difference in their life too. Teaching is a difficult job, but I know it’s the job for me.
As a high school student you’re supposed to magically know what you want to do with the rest of your life, but it isn’t easy to decide if you don’t have an idea as to what direction you want to head in. The FEA gives high school students the ability to see what it would be like to have a career in education. It helps students confirm whether teaching is for them. By holding conferences and conventions it gives a realistic and thorough image of what being a teacher is like again helping high school students confirm whether or not education is the right choice for them.
Had I never become involved with the FEA I would still be interested in teaching. I have known that this was my calling since age 7 and there has never been a doubt in my mind that I would be doing anything else. Teaching isn’t just about doing a “job,” it’s about truly caring for your students, helping them realize their potential, and ensuring that they know they are cared for and supported whenever they step into that classroom. Being a teacher is the life I want to live, I want to spend everyday interacting with and learning from my students. To me there is no more rewarding career than being a teacher.
The FEA helped me find what specifically ignites my passion for education and helped show me that there’s so much more to being an educator than teaching. The FEA is the organization responsible for reassuring that I have made the right choice to pursue education, I want to make a difference in students’ lives and it’s the FEA that has helped me realize that I was meant to do just that.