I've kept it as a secret for a long time but since I've revealed it in a recent teachers meeting, I think I can share it here too.
The first teacher who inspired me to be an English teacher was my high school English teacher Mr. Philip Herman. You know at that time most of the teachers were showing interest in the most successful students or students who need extra effort. And I was not one of them. I mean I was an average student and I wasn’t a trouble for my teachers. I really don’t know what he found in me but Mr. Herman showed me great interest. He believed in me. Actually he was almost sure that I would be a good, caring teacher. And fortunately he was right. We’ve never lost connection with him. He is an associate doctor in Pittsburg University now. And he is still my greatest supporter.
The second teacher was someone whom I never had the chance to meet. It was 5 or 6 years ago, in an after-school ceremony at the school I still work; our principal announced miserable news that one of the former teachers had a traffic accident and lost his life. He asked students to pray for him. And I remember it was Ramadan and all of our students prayed and gave iftars (dinner meal for Muslims who fast all day). I was a class teacher of 9th grades. I asked my students whether they knew that teacher or not. One of the students said: “Teacher, we didn’t know him but since he was one of the teachers of this school, he must have been a good teacher like you!” Well, my student never realized how his words affected me. First of all, I’ve never seen myself as a complete good person. Then I realized I have to act as a good person even if I’m not a good one. After that day I try to do my best in teaching. Because I believe in hereafter life and I need prays of my students.
I’ve been working in the same private school in Istanbul for almost 8 years. I love my job and all of my students (the successful ones, the ones who need extra effort and the average ones!).
By the way, I really wonder other teachers’ inspirations to be a teacher. Anyone cares to share?