Why I Wanted to be a Teacher

 Most teachers have a story of why they became a teacher.  Most teachers aren't teaching because of the money or the vacation time. There is some sort of story or motivation behind it.

Here is my story.

My childhood was wracked with emotional and physical abuse.  My parents were both alcoholics and when they divorced my mother started beating me on a regular basis.  The beatings started when I was in third grade and continued until I was a Junior in high school.  
I enjoyed going to school.  It was a safe haven for me and I got to escape my reality for a few hours each day.  The only time I would miss days from school was when I had bumps or bruises that were visible.  When I would go back to school none of the teachers would question the fading discoloration areas on my face.  The teachers were allowed to hug you and such but stayed out of the students home life when it came to discipline.
That all changed when I was in the fourth grade.  My teacher for that year was a stand up teacher and went out of her way to ensure I was safe.  She would bring me breakfast, I didn't eat much at home since I needed to be as quiet as possible to ensure I didn't wake up my hung over mother, so I would go without.  She always talked to me and would walk me home once in awhile since my mother couldn't be bothered with such mundane tasks.  She showed me the world of reading and how I could escape my realities any times wanted to just by opening a book.  I could check the books out from the library and read whenever I could. This teacher tried to get close and ask questions about my home life and I knew not to say much, even though my mother was a jerk, she was still my mother and I didn't want to get her in trouble.  Plus I knew I would have to suffer the consequences of talking.  
I didn't have a caring teacher again until eighth grade.  One teacher knew I was dabbling in a web of unsafe things and she helped steer me in the right direction.  I was already running away from home frequently but I would always show up to school no matter where I slept.  This teacher was always at school early and would not say a word when I would come in her class and clean up. She told me a lot of stories of her younger years and the places she went to when she graduated from college and often told me that there will be an opportunity for me to escape.  
In high school I had various teachers and none really stood out.  I received good grades, participated in sports and kept to myself for the most part.  The school knew of my history since the police would show up there when I would runaway. Most of the time they just let me stay at school as long as I went home afterwards.  My high school years are very foggy, I was in a hell that only few could imagine.  I would runaway and sleep on the streets or just stay up all night until I could go to school.  I contemplated suicide once and was a cutter and abused many things. I never cried for help or told anyone. High school was different in a way where if you were weak, you were screwed.  I had been in enough fights to where the kids left me alone so I was not a target.  In tenth grade I took an overdose of my mothers pain medicine and wound up waking up with a mouth full of charcoal.  When I went back to school my English teacher took me aside and started telling me about a "friends kid" who was allowed to move out and be on their own.  My teacher said that with my history there was no way the courts would allow it, so basically I had to man up and become stronger than every before in my life.  
For the next year I was clean as a whistle, I did run away during the summer for a few weeks but since my mother didn't want to lose her welfare she never reported it.  Something inside of me finally clicked or changed. I refused to be the victim. I had a few teachers behind me by then, one of them my track coach and they helped ensure that I was able to be on my own.  It was a struggle for me since I had to go to school and work full time and make sure I didn't miss any school.  I had to ensure this worked for me.  I think I would have wound up in jail or dead if it wasn't for these amazing teachers I had growing up.  Because of them, not my family, I am successful and amazing.  

I want to become a teacher so I can do what so few teachers did for me.  I want my students to know there is so much more out there than what they are going through and soon there will be a light at the end of the tunnel.  I want to show children the world of books and how they can read about others and start writing their own story of how they want their life to be.

And that is my story.  What's yours?

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