I am applying to begin student teaching in the fall. As i was in the shower today, these words just came to me. People say you have your best thoughts or ideas in the shower (hello! archimedes!) , I don’t think these are my best thoughts but rather me trying to justify how someone who doesn’t like school is going to teach high schoolers. Oh boy, this’ll be a hard sell. Hopefully I come across as different and innovative and not like I’m a slacker whose students will fail because I don’t like school either. Wish me luck as I go tell the school system why a fool like myself should be left in charge of the success of 16 year olds. thanks bye.
Students are tired of hearing words that mean nothing. Tired of the typical teacher who loves loves loves learning and hopes to inspire her students. While this is great for that teacher and the students who already do love learning, it abandons the others. I am that other student who did not love school. Sure there were teachers that I liked and social aspects that I liked but in all of my years of schooling, with some of the best, most passionate teachers, I did not fall in love with learning. Perhaps it is because I’m rather high energy and sometimes have trouble focusing, perhaps it is due to the teacher only teaching to one learning style, perhaps it is because it is so very difficult to reach each child. I’ve known that I was meant to be a teacher for a very long time. I fought it at first because I’m not passionate about learning or can’t wait to go sit in a desk for hours, learning about a subject that I don’t care about. My school principal and subsequent boss kept pushing me, telling me that I have it in me, that I can do great things, innovative things in this career. I didn’t want to see it, but I knew in my heart that this is exactly what I am meant to do. I didn’t try to deny it because I don’t care or because I don’t want my students to succeed. I denied it for that very reason. I knew I was different from other teachers. I knew that school was not my favorite pastime as a child nor an adult. I knew that sitting in a desk, listening to a teacher ramble on about a subject that I didn’t care about, was not what I wanted my career to look like. But I knew that this was God’s plan for me.
It took me until I was a junior in college to learn how to sit and focus in a classroom. It took until I was in college to realize that I need to approach my students with sympathy and by being relatable. I know that school or Spanish or math is not every student’s passion and drive because I went through it. Now, this does not mean that I am lazy and in turn does not mean that my students will be lazy. I will set that bar high and expect that they reach it and they will. While I am sympathetic, I will not allow any one of my students to whine or complain but rise to their expectations and exceed them. My students will discover who they are as individuals, in the classroom and with others. It took me until my last years of college to learn how to focus in class, what learning styles work for me and how I can use this as an advantage in the classroom. I want to use my struggles in school to show my students that it is okay to not be in love with school but that does not mean that you do not have to try. My class will not be easy, they will grow academically, personally and socially. The day will be filled with activity that incorporates all of the different learning styles. They will come into the classroom prepared to learn about the subject and themselves which are two aspects that will develop concurrently. I will change the way my students think, the way they study and the way they approach life outside of the classroom. It’s going to be a journey. I hope you are ready.