Teaching is not a lost art, but the regard for it is a lost tradition.
Yesterday I assisted a first grade teacher in my old elementary school. I was getting some field work experience, as well as sticking my foot through some doors. I’ll be there for the remainder of the week, listening and learning about the wonderful world of teaching. I don’t mean that sarcastically, It really was wonderful.
This past semester, however, was not wonderful in regards to my future teaching career. I almost lost my love for the art. Sometimes I feel like college discourages a person from what their aiming towards. The amount of work we receive that doesn’t relate to our field can turn a person away from their goals. I felt like I was drowning in statistics. I hated it, and I know I will never need it to teach first graders. Genetically modified first graders, maybe.
Aside from this, the way some teacher’s talk about the field of education turns me off. They talk about the “long hours you put in for pay that doesn’t put out.” Afterwards, your professors scare you. They say you need connections to get a job before mentioning low employment rates. No one talks about the children, about how rewarding it will be in the end.
That’s it. I wasn’t excited about teaching. The spark had simmered out.
I didn’t know what I wanted to do after that. Time suddenly slowed, everything I was working for seemed pointless. Day’s were getting longer and less bearable. My friends, who love their majors, began to irritate me. I just wanted to throw it all away and become an artist or a writer. Passions that I would enjoy, but have little success in.
Yesterday and today I was in a classroom. I was there amongst twenty-one first graders in my old elementary school, standing in front of a chalk board. I am working with an outstanding teacher and the most lovable six year olds. Everything suddenly fell back into place. This is what I want to do, and I’ll do it. I would sit through ten more years of mathematical torture to bear that feeling again.
I feel relieved and back on track. I’m heading back to school this semester with a fresh face and a readiness to learn. I want to become the best teacher I can, one that will inspire and engage her students.
It maybe as bad as everyone says, but I’m willing to take that chance. First graders of America, I’m coming for you.