Most of my blogs are informative and educational, however I decided to write something a little more personal this time.
I’m from Montreal, and I’ve officially decided to make Ottawa my forever home. The main reason for doing this was because I believe the education system here is organized, prepares young students well for future educational experiences, and schools here truly care about the well-being of students. I want to be part of a system that puts education as a priority on its list.
This past summer, I had time to reflect on my teacher candidate experiences from last year, and think about how I want to change for the better; how I can be helpful in this great system. Here is a list of my unanswered questions:
- How can I be even more organized than I already am? (And I really am at about 150% on the organization scale)
- How can I be better at classroom management? What are the skills I need to use here, and why has no one told me what they are yet?
- How can I find my place in the teaching world; how can I be seen as a teacher, and not just as a student teacher?
- Where will I get a job afterwards? How can I stand out from the crowd to get that job afterwards?
- Why do I keep buying school supplies I don’t need?
I spent most of my time worrying about the things I could have done as a teacher candidate; the things I should have done differently, or the things I didn’t do, but should have. After each day at my placement school, I would question myself: “Should I have said this instead?” “Was I prepared enough?” I was also spending my time worrying about the upcoming practicum placement, worried about things that hadn’t even happened yet.
“Will the students like me?”
“Will they take me seriously?”
“Will I be a good teacher?”
The truth is, nobody will ever be the perfect teacher. There will always be good days, and bad days. On the bad days, you may even question if you made the right career choice. On the bad days, your schedule may not go as planned. On the bad days, you forgot to use the strategies you learned about last week. On the bad days, you get home and think about all the “should have’s”.
However, for every bad day, there will be a good day. On the good day, your schedule will go as planned. On the good day, you will remember to use that classroom management strategy you read about yesterday. On the good day, you remember why you became a teacher. Even on those bad days, you should never forget why you became a teacher.
I challenge myself, and others who face similar anxieties about the upcoming practicum, to remember why you are here. We are here because we chose to be part of a system that will help shape the lives of students. We are here because we chose to be part of that students’ life. We are here because we chose to educate those students, and prepare them for challenges they may face. As a teacher candidate, a supply teacher, or a full time teacher, we are never done learning. We are continuously acquiring new knowledge; we are learning new methods, new techniques, new everything.
So maybe I should try answering my own questions now:
- I cannot possibly be more organized. I need to believe that I can do it, because I can.
- Ask teachers, educators, even Google; the more I connect with others and ask for their help and opinions, the more strategies I will learn about. I need to be courageous in the classroom, and use those techniques. It’s only the beginning.
- I already am part of the teaching world. As far as being seen as a teacher, and not a student teacher- guess what? I am a student teacher. There’s nothing wrong with that. Take this time to learn, and figure out what kind of teacher I am.
- I’m already doing so many great things for my future. I will stand out because I put effort into my future.
- Because I just love new pencils, okay?
I encourage us to make connections, friendships, and partnerships. Learn from others, teach others, and educate the world.