Why I Care

By Bonnie Tynes, SED 2016

I am currently in my third year of studying education and second year of studying special education at Boston University. This third year is monumental in many ways for me. It means that I’ve now spent nearly one fifth of my life (does that make me feel old or young?) consumed by thoughts, emotions, readings, and assessments surrounding education. It means that I’m three years closer to becoming a real person and pursuing a real career in the field of education. It means that I’m an upperclassman now. It means no turning back. It means confidence in my choices, as worrisome as they may have seemed at the time of conception.

Friends and family frequently ask me, “what made you want to become a teacher?” and my response today is fairly automatic. I want to be a teacher because I want to help children reach their full potential. I want to be their mentor, moral pilot, and mother when they don’t have one at home. I want them to want to succeed, and I want our future generations to be a product of the hard work put in by my fellow educators and myself.

I say inspirational things, and I think inspirational thoughts about education, but it isn’t really until I’m in a classroom with a child that the real inspiration happens. I can tell person after person why I’m passionate about education, but until you see me interact with a student you won’t really know. The real concept of education, all of the blood, sweat, and tears that actually go into the field, is uncharted territory for most. It’s not about any of that though. What I wish I could tell my friends and family when they ask me this is “come see me with a student, and then you’ll see.”

I spent my summer this year as a teacher’s assistant at Carroll School in Waltham, Massachusetts. A school for students with dyslexia and language-based disabilities, Carroll strives to encourage and empower their children to be model students and confident learners for future years to come. On my first day at Carroll, I was extremely nervous to approach an entirely new class of students. However, by the end of the day my six lovely second-graders treated me like a friend who they’d known their whole life. On my second day, I was greeted with hugs from the girls, high fives from two of the boys, and one sweet “good morning Miss Bonnie.” You would have thought I’d won the lottery.

I am not studying education because I think that I can single-handedly change the face of one of the most complex working systems in our great nation. I am not studying education to pour knowledge into young minds and see that knowledge reflected on tests and assessments. I am studying education because I can’t see myself doing any other job in this world. I live for these kids’ success. Not just academic success, but long-term success as a happy healthy member of society. Not to mention, their hugs, drawings, and “good mornings.”

Bonnie Tynes is a junior in the School of Education, majoring in Special Education.