Friday, May 18, 2007

post college

I was in a converation several months ago about entering the job-arena after college. As a teacher, I've always seen the transistion from ed. classes to the classroom in a particular manner. And I think most Cov. ed majors will agree with me that we begin teaching with a very high standard of what we hope to do in the classroom. Then we find ourselves discouraged because it is near impossible to actually do all that we want to do. Our courses set us up with a strong impression of the good we can do in a child's life and a standard for how we should be teaching.

For the first years in the classroom, this is impossible. We struggle to hold our noses above water and get worry lines thinking of all the good we know we should be doing, of the way we know we want to run our classrooms, grade our papers, plan our lessons, but there are not enough hours in the day and we just don't know how to do it all. It really hasn't been until this year that I've found myself taking deep breaths and thinking, ah, I know how to do this. Oh, that is how I could do this. Excellent, I already know how this will go. And I feel for the first time that I am doing a good job - that more spontaneous lessons on real-life are happening; that I am better able to keep track of each student and their needs - along with the 50 billion other things that teachers juggle.

Not to say that the past few have been a total failure: I am sure that the Lord has redeemed the mess I made of things and those children learned and grew in spite of me. But most of the time I had a sinking feeling, that despite long hours, I wasn't doing things as well as the standard that had been set in me. Leaving college I hated the thought that I wouldn't be able to be the teacher I wanted to be. I spent 18 years in school thinking about how I would be a different teacher, or how I would emulate my good teachers, and then 4 years learning how to do it. And I hated to think that I would mess up and not be able to do it. Then when we enter the classroom, we realize that at this point, we can't fulfill our goal because it is too hard.

In the course of a conversation, a person was sharing his perspective on finishing school and entering the work force. He entered the business world with high hopes of being able to make a difference in the world. Fresh out of college he had high ideals. But he began his job and realized that at this point in his career, he has no say in things. He has all these hopes and ideals, but no place to put them into practice.

instead, as he is underwhelmed at what his first years allow him to realize in his ideals, I am overwhelmed at how much potential I have in the classroom, but can't realize.


Anonymous said...

If you graduated when you weren't yet 21 how did you spend 18 years thinking about what kind of teacher you would be?

kate said...

yeah. that should be 12. but heck, who are you anyways.

Carol said...

Um, your beloved little sister.