Education News

How Aspiring Teachers Want To Change The World

“I believe that we prepare the other professions, because without your first grade teacher, you wouldn’t be able to read, and you wouldn’t be where you are now.”

More than one million students and teachers across Greater Houston are heading back to school Monday.

At the same time, there's a teacher shortage in Texas, especially in critical subjects like bilingual education, math and science.

Making the problem worse is that many instructors leave the profession after just a few years.

But some students at the University of Houston are bucking that trend. They are preparing to become teachers.

To kick off the school year, they attended a lecture where they heard some advice and some inspirational words from Superintendent John Kuhn from North Texas. He leads a small district in Perrin-Whitt, but became well-known for his “Alamo Letter” to state lawmakers as massive budget cuts loomed in 2011.

Superintendent John Kuhn gives advice and inspirational words from a podium at the University of Houston.

Here’s some of his advice and their own goals to change the world:

  • “The first piece of advice I have for you is let the waves carry you. You don’t know what’s ahead. You don’t know where you’ll teach, where you’ll be a counselor, you don’t know if you’ll move from teaching into administration, so let the waves carry you and find your purpose,” – Perrin-Whitt Superintendent John Kuhn
  • “It’s not as notable as a profession as some may say, but I believe that we prepare the other professions, because without your first grade teacher you wouldn’t be able to read, and you wouldn’t be where you are now” – Antonia Adams, who is studying to teach elementary school
  • “Personally, I actually would like to try and get students to like math more. It’s one of my favorite subjects. It’s been that since I was in elementary, since kindergarten, actually. It’s one of the things I want to do is help other students learn that it’s actually fun,” -Geronimo Ruiz, who is studying to be a math teacher
  • “I read this one quote, saying you need to spread love and happiness like you would spread Nutella on bread, spread it thick! And so that's kind of what I want to do. And I feel like that’s how I could change the world,” – Samantha Terrones, who is studying education
  • “Primarily, I would like to inspire people to go to college. My focus is Hispanic students, like me, who are first generation students and who come from different countries. Because we don’t have preparation, a lot of us end up coming to this country to mow lawns and work in construction and we never prepare ourselves for college,” – Miguel Callejas, who is majoring in English and Spanish

UH student Antonia Adams wants to be an elementary school teacher

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Laura Isensee

Laura Isensee

Education Reporter

Laura Isensee covers education for Houston Public Media, including K-12 and higher education. Previously, she was a staff reporter at The Miami Herald and contributed to South Florida’s NPR affiliate. Her work has also appeared in The Dallas Morning News, Reuters and Clarín in Argentina. Laura has won awards for...

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