03 September 2013

Pre-service Teachers Share Top 3 Fears & Exciting Thoughts

 Exciting news in my life-- I am teaching again!  This time, it's a course at our local university.  My students are pre-service middle school teachers, and our course is a study of English Language Arts methods.  I invited my class to guest blog today.  Collaboratively, they created this blog post as a practice run for their individual posts they will write each week over the next seven weeks. Their individual posts will not appear here, but we thought a guest post written together for an established blog would be a great start.  Please share your thoughts, comments, and ideas with us.

We the people of EDC 447 have chosen to use this blog as an outlet for sharing our fears and excitement about our upcoming endeavors in the world of teaching. We have spent countless hours in the library studying to become educators, and our time as students is dwindling.  Soon, we will be in classrooms, not sitting in desks, but standing before countless wondering eyes. The last four or five years of our lives have been solely dedicated to earning a piece of paper that will solidify our right to mold the young minds of our students. Without further ado, here is what scares us to death and excites us the most about what lies ahead in our futures.

Top 3 Fears
Students won’t take us seriously. 
We (obviously) started with our fears for teaching.  One of the main fears we have, as young and inexperienced teachers, is that our students won’t take us seriously.  We all know we had teachers that were young and we thought we could get away with so much more simply because they lacked the experience our older teachers had.  As new teachers, we are nervous for how to approach this.  We are eager to learn ways to relate to our students but to also establish the line between students and teacher. 
This is a big responsibility!
It is scary to think that what we teach (or don’t teach) our students will have an impact on their entire lives. We don’t want any of our students to go to class the year after we have them and say, “We never learned that last year.” We don’t want them to get to college or their careers and think, “Why didn’t I learn this in 7th grade?” From where we sit right now, this responsibility seems pretty daunting.
What if we wasted money on teaching degree/will grow to hate teaching?

The cost of a bachelor's degree continues to grow, and nationally 17% of teachers quit every year.  It is only natural then that as teachers-to-be we should fear throwing away all of our money for a temporary infatuation with teaching as a career. If there's anything we learned from Kim Kardsashian's failed marriage, it's that if we're going to spend this much money, it better last.

Top 3 exciting thoughts
Paid job, sense of accomplishment
Throughout our college career, we have developed an appreciation for the full-time, salary-making teacher. As we all worked our way through college, whether it was in retail, food service, or just tutoring students to gain experience with kids, a full-time teaching job is looking like heaven by now. Let’s be honest, we’ve all had to wear a permanent smile on our faces to provide excellent customer service to the public, but that isn’t true self-fulfillment. We are anxiously waiting for the day to step into our very own classroom in hope to make a difference in our students’ lives. Once we fulfill this goal, we will then truly feel a sense of accomplishment and remember why we went to school for four (or five) years to become a teacher.

 Opportunity to collaborate with other teachers
So far in our small teacher education world we have had limited access to school communities.  The longest any of us have spent in one class room is two weeks. While that gave us access to real students, teachers and some parents it was not enough experience to gage what it is like to be a real teacher. Soon we will be students teachers and with this opportunity we will get a deeper experience of collaborating with teachers and getting to know parents and students. As rich as an experience as students teaching while be it is no comparison to being able to say teach at this school, these our my fellow teachers and these a my students.

The power  (and responsibility) is in our hands

For the first time we will get to make the decisions about how our classroom looks and operates.  We are excited about running the classroom the way WE want and getting to develop our identity as teachers for the first time.  It is definitely an exciting responsibility to take everything we have learned over the years and make it our own!

As we come closer to graduation and being hired (fingers crossed) these anxieties and exciting thoughts will only increase.  A little fear never hurt anyone, right?  Until then, we will continue to learn, motivate ourselves, and encourage one another to be the best middle school teachers we can be. Hopefully on that first day, excitement will outweigh fear, and we will rest easy, knowing we can do this.