I'm nervous. Notice I didn't say I was scared. I've learned to not say scared because fear creates anxiety. I'm more a mixture of excitement and jitters over the unknown when I think about the possibility of being an English teacher to a classroom of real students, real kids just like I was. I hope to teach high school. The more I read my educational textbooks for grad school, the more I realize that "good teaching," or rather "effective teaching," is a challenge. I applaud you if you are a teacher; it takes work, sweat, ingenuity, and determination. And, it takes knowing your material. I think that part makes me the most nervous. Here are my confessions of why I'm nervous (not afraid, because fear is not an emotion that cannot be resolved) of being a teacher:
1. I look like I'm 17. Will I look my students' age? Or worse, younger than my students??
2. How can I not look 17...where can I invest in a pair of comfortable heels? What kind of haircut says "professional" yet is still "me"?
3. My wardrobe is very unprofessional. Let me rephrase that: my wardrobe says "I belong to a young college student who has fun with what she wears and enjoys thrift shopping, and also hates the idea of institutional or office related work." I need to fix this...
4. I've been there, and I'm nervous to go back. I was in public high school. Kids are obnoxious, teachers are not much better. The maturity level of the teachers and students these days is depressing. Once again, I worry I will be the over-achieving, "non-experienced" prude I was in high school, but on the other side of the desk.
5. My family has been there: My mom and three of my aunts have taught in public school systems. I've seen the under-belly of the beast. It can be pretty grotesque.
6. MAJOR CONCERN: Though I love English, can write a mean essay, can analyze the snot out of a poem or novel, and can read a book for hours as pure pleasure, GRAMMAR MAKES ME NERVOUS. Grammar was never my thing. It's too much like math, in a way. I don't understand the rules, and I don't know how to explain WHY we have the rules. Help!
7. I am not relatable (apparently my word check doesn't think that's a word, ha). I grew up in a Christian home with an intact family, earned straight A's, was not a social butterfly, was clueless to most of the drama going on around me, and I wasn't very well-rounded.
8. I am an English snob. There! I said it. If you don't love books, if you don't care about proper spelling, if you don't cringe over how AWFUL your writing is, then I don't understand you. This is going to have to change if I am going to be a good teacher, quite obviously. But it will be hard.
But, on the flip side, these things could be positives.
1. Yes, I look young. But maybe that means that some of my students won't be afraid to approach me. After all, I'm only about ten years older than them and I haven't forgotten how hard being a moral and academic person was in school.
2. Maybe I should just be myself. And, having a new look, a "professional me" could be fun!
3. Shopping is fun. Time to go to the mall! (or Goodwill; they have clothes you could wear as a professional)
4. and 5. Yes, it's ugly at times. But why should I be afraid? I know who I am. I know who holds my future. I've grown from the frightened high schooler I was, and I hope that I can bring about positive change, if not in my entire school, then in individual lives I touch.
6. Well, I gotta learn sometime! Incentive to learn grammar, noted. :)
7. I forget that there are still kids like this in public schools. They need an encourager. They need someone to tell them they're not weird, and that opening up a little to others could be good :)
8. I need more Jesus. You cannot teach without a humble heart, and you certainly can't shove your love for a subject down a student's throat with THAT attitude.
Phew, challenge accepted, though it be daunting.
Preparing to face the world with Jesus, the ultimate Teacher,