Feeling insecure...

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by jammer0225, Sep 1, 2011.

  1. jammer0225

    jammer0225 Rookie

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    Sep 1, 2011

    I don't know if this is the right place to put this, but I have doubts. I'm not certified yet and nowhere near being a credentialed teacher, but I'm scared. A lot of self-doubt has crept up and I'm not sure I have what it takes to be a great teacher. I think I do and I definitely want to teach more than anything in the world.

    I'm going to get certified in 8-12 English, ESL, and SPED. Long term I'd like to teach kids with reading disorders. I wonder if I'm capable, smart enough, have the patience, etc. I have a degree in Psychology/Sociology, but I LOVE English. What happens if the kids know more than me?! That's a great fear of mine. I feel like I should know the material inside and out.

    Has anyone else felt this way prior to landing the job or getting certified? :unsure:
     
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  3. Geauxtee

    Geauxtee Comrade

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    Sep 1, 2011

    In Texas as long as you pass the TEXES, it doesn't really matter what your degree is in. My degree is in Art History and I taught English. Another English teacher had their degree in music and then got certified. Personally, a psych degree would be very beneficial for any teacher and especially one who will be special ed certified. You need to find some psych research about education or special ed disorders and discuss this at your interviews.

    I had a little chuckle about worrying that your students may know more than you. Teenagers don't spend their free time brushing up on Shakespeare or looking for symbolism in Wuthering Heights. They know they'll learn that stuff in school. If some smartie pants attempts to make you look bad... all it takes "That interesting, Phillip. I never considered that point before. Perhaps, you can give a 10 minute powerpoint over that issue tomorrow? I look forward to hearing about your views again on satire in Huckleberry Finn."
     
  4. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Sep 1, 2011

    I've been teaching for 5 years and I still have that self-doubt that creeps up. What's funny is that I LOVE English and am certified in it, but I'm an inclusion teacher for math.....so in some cases the students DO know more than me! :eek: However, they love it when they can show me something and teach me math too.
     
  5. elateacher4life

    elateacher4life Cohort

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    Sep 1, 2011

    Pre-teaching jitters are normal. You'll get over them once you start teaching.
     
  6. pete2770

    pete2770 Comrade

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    Sep 1, 2011

    In all my life I ever only knew one kid that potentially knew more than the teachers in just about every subject, but he was a genius...perfect scores on ACT etc.

    Still, he never gave any teachers a bad time.

    I think you're over thinking it.
     
  7. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    Sep 2, 2011

    Teaching is not always about imparting knowledge though that is a large part of what we do. You are a facilitator in their journey of life long learning. You help students build on what they do know and find the resources to advance to what they do not know. You help them with social and emotional trials throughout the journey. You are a model, a listening ear, a nurse, a counselor.... Your role changes daily, hourly, and sometimes even by the minute. If you have questions about your ability, is it because you are not sure that your delivery will engage the students? As you work with students are they happy? engaged? enthusiastic? asking questions? If you are the kind of person that emits groans as you enter the room, where students are staring at walls, texting on cell phones during your lesson, and leave without questioning... Then, you are not a just right fit for education. But if they leave wanting to know more, pushing themselves a little farther each day, and enthusiastic about your time together... you are meant to be in education.

    There ARE some natural born teachers. They don't need a degree of any kind with the intuitive way that they are able to reach students. It is a gift to be able to teach, and be interesting to the student. If you are asking if you have that gift... only time will tell.
     
  8. mardi08

    mardi08 Rookie

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    Sep 2, 2011

    Very well said, SCTeachInTX! I've been in education for 8 years and just became a teacher within the past 2 years. I always feel insecure! There are times when I feel comfortable and really know what I'm talking about, and other times not! I feel that even though you are a teacher, you are always learning.
     
  9. Milsey

    Milsey Habitué

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    Sep 2, 2011

    Just stay a week ahead of them...and you'll be fine.
     
  10. Joy

    Joy Cohort

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    I'm sure you will do fine and are worried about nothing. As a substitute teacher, I have gotten very used to being out of my comfort zone on what I teach. My certification is in music but I end up subbing for everything and sometimes the districts don't even tell you what exactly you will be doing for the day and just call the job a floater teacher. I've even had teachers who change plans at the last minute and just give me a book and tell me that I am supposed to teach it right then! I have certainly had the opportunity to grow in my teaching through all of it and have learned to be able to respond in any situtation. Teaching can be unpredictable but that also keeps it from getting boring.
     
  11. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Sep 3, 2011

    As a science teacher, I often find that my kids know more than me in some areas. My attitude is that it is awesome and I'm happy to learn from my students-- it is a way to show respect. I tell them in science you won't know 100% of everything out there-- we are always life-long learners.

    At the same time, you don't want to come across as not being smart and you especially do not want to teach a concept incorrectly. If I'm teaching a topic I'm not really familiar with I will talk to people who I trust will have accurate answers for me (my husband, for example, knows a lot more about physics and chemistry than I do) and I will spend time researching the topic and writing out notes to help myself.

    If something pops up that neither I or another student knows how to answer, I'll make note of it and research it so that it can be shared in class next time. I think that sets a great example to the students that it is better to know how to find an answer than to not actually go through the process of researching it.
     
  12. jammer0225

    jammer0225 Rookie

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    Sep 9, 2011

    Thanks for the encouraging and honest answers. I am a habitual worrier and it's nice to hear kind words from the pros!
     
  13. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Sep 10, 2011

    There will be times when the kids know more than you do. You'll be teaching Hamlet, and you'll have a kid who has been to the Globe theater, and can give a description that you're not able to give. It happens. Embrace it and welcome them to share their knowledge. Let your class be one where everyone learns from each other.

    As long as it doesn't become the hallmark of your class, it's not an issue.

    When you are caught not knowing information, tell the kids you'll get back to them, and move on. Then, make SURE you find the right answer and get back to them. Don't wait for them to bring it up the next day, make sure YOU do.

    As you teach a variety of courses, your knowlege will expand exponentially. You'll see how something in the Sophomore course interrelats with something taught in the Junior course. Ideally, these revelations will come over the summer, as you prep the work for the following year.

    In the meantime, read everything you can. Read pop fiction and bestsellers, books on education and the NY Times. The more well rounded you are as an individual, the more resources you have at your disposal in the classroom.

    Best wishes!
     

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