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Why do I teach?

| Sunday, June 9, 2013, 10:40 p.m.

Re. the May 22 letter, “Need a baby tax”: Melan Junik stated that his system for paying teachers would “weed out those who become teachers only because they did not have the brains or ambition to become engineers, scientists or doctors.”

So I guess I only went into education because I am too dumb to handle the difficult academics associated with science and medicine.

Had Junik not pointed this out, I would have gone on thinking I chose a career in education to make a difference in the lives of children. I also give back to my community, as I teach in the district I graduated from.

I thought when I decided to not major in chemistry and major in education, it was because I felt a chemistry degree would not make a big difference like years of teaching children how to read would. Boy, was I wrong!

I guess you really don't have to be smart to:

• Juggle 20-plus students of different academic levels, with varying behavioral issues.

• Bandage up bruises, comfort sick little kids and counsel children whose home lives are not so rosy.

• Integrate technology into a curriculum covering all of the sciences, history, government, three types of math, writing and more — all in one year.

No, I didn't want to be an engineer, scientist or doctor, because I set my goals higher — to ignite the spark in the minds of the world's future engineers, scientists and doctors.

Dana Fularz

New Kensington

The writer is a teacher in the New Kensington-Arnold School District.

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