It is so difficult when the end is near. It is so tough to accept and very tough to handle, but, eventually, it must be done. You are prepared to accept the beginning, but no one is ever prepared for the bitter end.
When I was in first grade I think the greatest technology I'd ever seen was a crayon melter and an old school projector (those were cool back then)! Now, I teach first grade and what I had handed to me (basically) scared me! My school's tech person handed me 12 iPads, an Osmo, a Tiggly set, a Sphero, and confidence that I'd make it work. Boy... I think it took me awhile to realize that hey... I have technology and I can use it!
Each year, many eager future teachers enter their college years ready to become the next group to teach our next generation. I was one. I walked into school and had all these ideas about what becoming a teacher would be like. I sat through hours and hours of classes, went through the apprenticeships, and did my two weeks of solo lessons, but NOTHING prepares you for what teaching is truly like.
Why did you become a teacher? That's the question I get asked the most.
I am a teacher. I inspire and in turn am inspired by my students. I am 61-years-old and teach nursing at a state university. Why did I become a nurse (many years ago, you can do the math)? I wanted to make a difference. When I think back, I am not sure what difference I wanted to make, but after many years of bedside care, I knew I wanted something more. I went back to school for a Master’s degree. I had some “inspiring” instructors who taught me that nursing is much more than “doing.” Nursing is about caring.
I know the answer to my question before I ask it.
I like to brag. Now, before you get the wrong idea, let me clarify my statement. When people brag, they like to laud their achievements and/or abilities over others. That is not what I do. I do brag to myself. I think of a separate me who has not done what the actual me has done. Then, I ended up telling myself that I feel good for what I did.
What is the difference between a good teacher and a great teacher? Good teachers are nice and teach what they have to. They do fun activities and keep the children engaged. Great teachers inspire students to love learning and to take what they know and apply it to their everyday lives outside of the academic setting. Teachers leave everlasting impressions on their students whether it be good or bad.
So I'm about to finish my seventh year of teaching...where did the time go right? And, with the news that I would have a student teacher in the fall, I began thinking about all the things that college didn't prepare me for. I know education theories, how state exams work, how to make a professional portfolio, and ideas of how to teach the material. But anyone who's been in this game for a while can tell you that all this stuff you learn in college doesn't really prepare you for that first step into your classroom.
I'm a Registered Early Childhood Educator in Canada, and while it may have its perks, there is definitely a long ways to go before we can fully gain the recognition we so long deserve. I worked my behind off in school, stayed up countless nights studying for exams and writing papers to gain my honours degree just like every other college kid does, and still, I feel like what I accomplished means nothing in today's society. I work in a school setting teaching and guiding a group of 30 school-aged children. And what do I get at then end of a hard day's work?
I had the opportunity to work with a student one on one today. This is a student who impresses me as very smart, yet he fails his courses repeatedly. Why? It is simple, or so I thought. He is just not driven to achieve in school.