One thing that has irked me to no end since starting my university career is people who say:
“You need to go to school for FOUR YEARS to be a TEACHER?!” or “Why do you need 4 years of university to teach kids to spell?” That being said, I can’t necessarily blame them because they just don’t get it and they probably never will (until maybe they have children who have phenomenal teachers). I will admit, I always knew that I wanted to be a teacher. But once I came to university, even in my first ECS course, I realized that the facets to being a teacher were much larger in number than I originally assumed.
Yes, reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic are key elements of a young child’s education but it is also so much more than that. It is about social justice, and diversity issues, and meeting students’ needs properly and efficiently, and ensuring that students with disabilities or learning difficulties are getting what they need while still being engaged with the rest of their class. It is a live performance, and a think-on-your-feet job, and a continual learning curve of personal reflection on what went well and what didn’t. It is embracing that you are never done learning and that, as a teacher, you will be taught many lessons by your students, not the other way around.
It is such a complicated and wonderful world to discover and I do not even bother trying to explain to the people who ask those questions what a joyous and empowering feeling you get to help children realize their full potential as learners. The moment when a child grasps a concept is absolutely priceless. It is the best feeling in the world and I am getting a degree that will allow me to do that EVERY SINGLE DAY and that makes me the luckiest girl in the world.So while I am sure I will encounter many more experiences that make my blood boil, I won’t kick and scream and shout. I will simply smile and say, “There is nothing else in the world I would rather do.” And it will be the truth.