Sunday, 2 December 2012

Never forget Waterproof Mascara (and Other Things I Learned on my Teaching Practicum).

I think, at least for some of us, beginning a teaching career is much like having kids might be. People tell you it’s going to be hard. It’s going to change your life. You are going to have no time... at least for the first five years. And I think most future parents accept this on some level. Yes, they acknowledge it is going to be hard. Yes, it will take time and determination. Yes, it will require sacrifice. And then the baby comes and with it sleepless nights, forgetting to eat, shower, exercise... and suddenly, that whole “it’s gonna be hard” thing takes on an entirely different light. It is dramatically hard, the-no-one-possibly-could-have-put-this-into-words-I-am-at-the-end-of-myself kind of hard. 

I still want to teach.
I still think it is the most rewarding career
I have got A LOT to learn.

Maybe for some, like parenting, it all comes naturally. Maybe they’ve got dream babies that don’t mix their days and nights, don’t have colic and immediately take to nursing. Or  maybe they just have the foresight, that divinely-gifted ability to anticipate, before any obstacles actually surface, just what EXACTLY could go awry. Maybe they have the patience of a saint. Not me. 

Don’t get me wrong. By no means was my practicum a failure. In fact, in many ways, I consider it a triumph. It was not easy. I messed up-- A LOT. But I persevered. In the end, I learned an incredible amount about myself, the profession, and that I really need to not care what other people think so much. I loved my students, and I can (for the most part) confidently say they loved me back. I learned so much.

I learned to be myself.
I learned that I value connection with my students far more than I do content (and I LOVE content!).
I learned that it’s okay to not be “pro” right off the get go.
I learned that I have an incredible support system of family and friends there to encourage me and to remind me of my strengths when I am no longer able to see them myself.

I learned that I should never, not EVER, go into a classroom without wearing waterproof mascara.

1 comment:

  1. That sounds terrifyingly wonderful! I hope mine goes half as smoothly.