It’s been awhile! Your article struck a chord with me as, I have just finished my M.Ed., obtained my NH Teaching Certificate, and, as I respond to this, I’m in the middle of applying to teaching positions for next year. I also currently live in the town I grew up in. I can’t prove or debunk your theory, but I can offer my experiences to add to your thoughts.
Like you suggested, I certainly chose this path, however in my case, my mother did encourage me because I’ve always had an affinity for working with children since I was a child. Not that I felt my only options were to be “motherly”, I’ve just found myself working with youth time and again. I like that space.
As for role models, I never really felt that I had any. However, I appreciated how various English teachers and one Latin teacher (male & female) used their classes to teach me about life. That inspired me to want to teach English.
Though I went to Keene for Education, I quickly abandoned it and didn’t return to it for a long time, focusing on the wonders of the Literature World instead. When I did return, it was in the informal education setting of a children’s museum- a position I kind of fell into because it seemed like fun and I had no other direction. It was working here that I developed an interest in STEM and hands-on “making” experiences. After a couple of years in this fun, but eternally part-time position, I decided it was time to move. Classroom teaching appeared as a realistic option: it’s full-time, I like the population, it’s somewhat similar to what I’m already doing, I already have some relevant skills and the right disposition, I love learning things and sharing that knowledge with others, summers off- and I LOVE the summer off-, I’d be good at it, I could run my classroom somewhat independently (state standards aside), in Elementary I could teach the English I’ve always loved and the Science I’d recently grown fond of, I could make a difference, it pays money I can live on without constant worry. Is it my perfect dream job? No, but it’s close. Will I do it forever? Maybe, maybe not. I haven’t ruled out a Ph.D. in Psychology someday, but not for a while.
So, to go back to your theory, role models may have played a factor when I first chose to be a teacher because I wanted to inspire new ways of thinking the way that I’d been inspired. However, when I chose it the second time, it was for very different reasons.
This was probably more than you were expecting in a response, but I thought you might want to stir this into your theory. Hope you’re well!