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Teaching is a Meaningful Profession by Beth Seibold

Teaching is meaningful to me because I am teaching skills they need in the real world, and that is super important. Teaching Culinary Arts shows kids that jobs in the service industry can be just as rewarding as those in the corporate world.

In Food Safety and Sanitation, students learn about how to read food labels and how to apply that to purchase food. We then transition into the ServSafe Food Handler program, which is the restaurant industry's tool for food safety. Students learn the program, complete activities that ensure they are keeping food safe at home, and identify safe food practices when they go out. As part of the class, students can take the National ServSafe Food Handler test and earn a 3-year certificate, which helps many get jobs and promotions. In the culinary capstone, they take the ServSafe Manager test to help them again in the service industry. My classes teach students teamwork, problem-solving, life skills, and about using their resources; beyond that, these classes allow students to be expressive in a way that allows them to be themselves.

I am still in contact with several former students from my first teaching job: they are all 30 now! To this day, they all tell me that even though I was young (25) when I started, they learned so much about being real and understanding and helping other. One referred to me as the Carrie Bradshaw of the school because I was so independent, professional, and honest, and they all admired that strength. I have been invited to wedding and baby showers, and have even had shoutouts from former athletes about giving them a chance! One of my former students is the head of food service at a local casino with five restaurants and 502 guest rooms; he said taking these classes allowed him to follow his passion.

Teaching is meaningful because being a teacher and a role model for students is important. I pride myself on being real, showing them the good, and helping them develop skills for the rest of their lives.

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