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My "Why"

Everyone has their “why” when it comes to picking a profession. Sometimes our “why” is

financial, or maybe convenience. “Why” can be a small reason or a monumental one. For me,

my “why” started with my grandfather, Dean Welin. For as long as I can remember my

grandfather was an educator. He fit the role perfectly with his outgoing, bubbly personality and

his genuine compassion towards students. He started his career as an elementary teacher, and

then eventually someone suggested he look into administration. He ended up being a principal

for multiple elementary, middle, and high schools, serving a total of 40+ years in this role. Even

after “retiring” he continued to make his mark on the world of education by teaching and

observing student teachers! His dedication to the field of education was known by everyone he

came in contact with, as he was known by his friends and family as “The Principal.” As a child,

seeing his passion for working with students and teachers instilled a similar passion in me.

Getting to witness his interactions with random people on the street who would come up and

say “Mr. Welin, you were my favorite principal I’ve ever had” left such a large impact in my life.

Early on I decided that I wanted to make as big of an impact on others as my grandfather had

continually done. I always knew I was great at working with children, but I was not fully sold on

teaching until later on. It was getting time to apply for college and I had no idea what major to

pick. My grandfather, being the helpful man he was, set up a full day of observations for me in

order to see if teaching was something I would be interested in. After spending a day hopping

around class after class with him, I fell in love with the atmosphere of a school. Between my day

of observations, and my grandfather constantly in my ear about the opportunities for teachers, I

decided teaching was for me. I don’t know if my grandfather had been happier than when I told

him I had officially determined I want to teach. Now, each day I spend with my students or with

my peers at TCSJ I think about how excited he would be. Every time I step foot in my Residency

classroom I think “what would my grandpa do?”


Figuring out our “why” we choose our occupation can greatly impact how we do our jobs.

Our “why” drives us each day to get up and do our jobs to the best of our abilities. So, any time I

get asked “why teaching,” I answer with “Dean Welin, my grandfather.”

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