If someone were to ask me, Ms. A, if you could go back in time, would you choose to be a teacher again?, I would answer: yes.
I can’t tell you that I see myself as a teacher for the long run, but the journey to becoming a teacher and later the journey to becoming a master teacher have taught and continue to teach me valuable lessons.
Lesson #1: You Can Achieve ANYTHING You Want
I sometimes don’t understand why I felt called to be a teacher. I was always the shyest kid in the classroom. If you had told my classmates, teachers, and family that my job would consist of me talking in front of a class full of students all day, some of them wouldn’t have believed you. What’s worse is that some of them even told me so…
The whole point about this journey, though, was not to prove anyone wrong. I found that if you follow a dream that seems impossible, you can achieve it even if it doesn’t make sense. In my case, it didn’t make sense that a shy kid would want to lead as a teacher.
Believe it or not, after I struggled through my first-semester of teaching, I never looked at a work-out session the same. Working out felt so much easier than teaching. I found that if I could lead & manage a classroom of 30 kids, I could conquer the world.
Lesson #2: The Importance of Slowing Down
This path has also been teaching me the importance of slowing down. Below are three ways I was reminded of this life lesson.
- When my 6th graders turned 7th graders walked into my classroom, some now taller than me, I missed their 6th-grade selves. I couldn’t believe how just one summer had changed them. They’d entered the world of teenage years. Some no longer looked for my approval and instead looked for the approval of their friends.
- Other times, when a large portion of students didn’t do so well on a quiz, I was reminded that I couldn’t move on to the next concept until they learned the skills needed to pass the quiz.
- I’ve envied all-types of teachers, from my university professors to my mentor teachers to principals, because of their experience and the success they’ve found in their careers in education. Even before I started teaching, I wanted their years of experience, and I wanted to know how I could get to their positions as soon as possible.
I found that the moment-to-moment experiences turn into years very quickly. In May I’ll have 2 years of full-time teaching experience. That sounds unbelievable to write as I feel that just yesterday, I was sitting in university with zero clue about what I was getting myself into.
Lesson #3: You can increase your capacity to [fill in the blank]
On many personal levels, this teaching job has taught me and continues to teach me how to increase my capacity to dream big, love, care, lead, accept, communicate, collaborate, and connect.
I have learned to love the students who gave me head and stomach aches a year ago. I have learned how to meet and respect parent’s needs. An up-to-date gradebook helps parents parent their kids. They can talk to their children about a failing grade or reward them for improvement.
It’s possible that I would have learned these lessons regardless of the job path I chose. I’ll never know. I wonder now, if these lessons are preparing me for something else.
I believe that they are.
Now, I’m handing the question over to you: If you could go back in time, would you do something differently?