This week I another opportunity to sit down with a preservice teacher and answer some questions about the profession and being in the classroom. Read on for the Q&A.
Q: Why did you choose to be an educator?
A: I chose to be an educator partly because it was in my blood. My grandfather was a 7th grade physical science teacher, and I always grew up hearing his stories of time in the classroom. Because of this, teaching is the first and only career choice I was ever interested in.
Q: What would you say is the most important thing to remember in this profession?
A: Everything is always evolving. It may sound cliché to say, but: this too shall pass. I say this because as a teacher, you’ll always get new students and learn new ways to meet their needs. Remember that your time with students is relatively short. Whatever opportunities you have to teach them will be fleeting. Whether they push your buttons or are model students, they’ll be gone come June. The challenges teachers face are cyclical, but what’s difficult for you as a first year teacher won’t bother you years down the road. New challenges will crop up and you’ll find different ways to solve them.
Q: What would you say are advantages and disadvantages of working in this field?
A: By far the biggest advantage is the students. Another advantage is constant change and opportunities for growth. You’ll never be bored as a teacher! You’ll be constantly challenged to evolve and become the best teacher you can be.
A disadvantage might be that it’s hard work (depending on your perspective on that sort of thing). There are a lot of expectations of teachers of today. This can lead some teachers to burnout or early retirement. It’s important to have a plan in place when these issues arise. Know that it’s tough work in the beginning especially, but it does get easier!
Q: What would you say to a student that was getting into this field?
A: It’s one of the most rewarding careers out there. I truly believe in the transformative power of education. Think about why you chose this field. Remember you’re doing important work every day.
Q: What would you say most influenced the way that you teach students?
A: Hands down, the students themselves. Before I actually stepped into a classroom, I had a lot of great ideas…like most new teachers do. Nothing outside of a classroom could prepare me for real students. They were nothing like the textbooks said they’d be. It’s one of the reasons I’ve continued to study and better myself as a teacher so I can stay current and meet their needs.