Secondary English teacher Katey Tapia shares, “Why I Teach”.
We have different gifts according to the grace given us…if it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is giving, let him give generously; if it is leading, let him lead with diligence; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. – Romans 12:6-8
My path to becoming an educator corresponds with my love for Christ, as the two are indefinitely intertwined. I had the epiphany that my calling was to become a teacher my sophomore year at Seattle Pacific University.
My grandmother, who taught special-ed in at a Catholic school for over thirty-years, encouraged me to take an education course at SPU, just to see if I would like it. I chose to observe in a public-school classroom, where the science teacher looked at me on the first day, and said in front of her students, “All these kids know how to do is worksheets, so that’s what I give them.” I was stunned. The students heard this, and the discouragement echoed back at me in their features and in their attitudes. From that day, I made it my mission to personally connect with each student, offering my assistance in any way I could, academically and emotionally. While completing my student teaching internship, a student confessed to me, “You are the only teacher who has made me feel seen.” At that moment, I knew I had found my passion.
Since that day, God’s voice has been booming. I am called to teach. After I declared my major to English and Secondary Education, everything in my life began to naturally fall into place. Ordinarily an introvert, as soon as I got in the front of the classroom, I felt a wave of peace and belonging. Now, I have been given the amazing opportunity to teach at Seattle Christian School, teaching one of my favorite subjects—American Literature!
My purpose as an educator is to ensure that all students that enter my classroom feel seen, heard, and represented. From the moment students’ walk through my classroom door, I aim to cultivate a welcoming community that encourages student expression through writing and conversations, ultimately supporting students’ love for Christ.
Read more articles in the Fall-Winter edition of the SCS Scepter.