Dear Community: I am a 41 yr old student teacher who has been in school for over 2 1/2 yrs and I have 2 more to go. I am nervous about my choice of profession because this is really what I consider a pivotal moment in my life and I don't want to make a mistake (I am undergoing financial difficulties and an impending divorce so the right steps are important right now). I've also been bombarded by negative news regarding teaching which I realize every profession has, but these do concern me. Basically, I worry whether I am smart enough and whether I have the right skills to be a teacher. I'd love to hear the advice of teachers or others who know the profession. I will explain in detail my concerns. (Sorry, this will be long ). SKILLS/REASONS FOR WANTING TO TEACH: I plan on teaching K-5. K-3 is the maximum grades that I feel that comfortable with (right now) from a standpoint of academics. I’ve obtained great grades in college so I feel like I am generally a smart person from life experiences, however, I have always been insecure because I had negative experiences in school and left high school early. I received my GED in my late 20's but always felt like I didn't learn or remember the basic skills that a student is taught (i.e., history, historical facts, science, math). For example, I am now relearning the U.S. states because I have forgotten where many are. Another example is with grammar, english, and spelling; I don't remember any of the rules, I just know generally how to apply them and what looks right. I believe that I should know these things in order to be able to teach these subjects. I worry that I don't have the basic content knowledge skills to be a teacher, especially an effective one. On the other hand, I am confident I can learn much of these skills and that I will pass the praxis tests (with alot of work). I also fret that I may be placed in higher grades and will not know the content enough to teach it. I am a determined person and I realize I will have to learn specific content before teaching it. What are your thoughts on this? Are there any other teachers that feel this way? On a positive note, the reasons I want to be a teacher is because I want to be a positive role model in the lives of my students. Even though I struggled as a student, I remember enjoying the stability of the environment and the teachers I encountered. I am generally a patient, kind and caring person and I enjoy being with children. I also am creative and love doing things that are creative while learning. I decided recently after becoming a mom and spending a lot of time in the classroom and with children that I would like this field. I have not have a lot of experiences teaching children. I mainly spend a lot of time with children, doing and taking them to activities, parties, cooking, playing, etc. but I haven’t really taught them anything academic. I really enjoy the classroom environment so I feel it would be a good fit for me. Also, as a struggling learner, I can relate and understand the struggling learner and where they are coming from which is a benefit. Additionally, I am always trying to better myself and my skills so I would see myself getting better over time. I also see this as a good fit for something I can do for another 25 years of my working life. People who know me always comment that I would be a great teacher because kids tend to really like me and probably due to the fact that I am creative and patient. COMMUNICATION: Another aspect about my personality that I worry is a good fit for teaching is my communication skills. This is an area that I am most concerned about and that needs help. I tend to get nervous with authority figures and don’t feel comfortable speaking in front classes, interviews, etc . I don’t feel this way with children; I feel comfortable with them; my fear is mainly with adults. I have taken public speech and plan to enroll in toastmasters. I am not the best communicator at times and get nervous. I worry about being an effective communicator in the classroom, with parents, etc. Is this something that gets better with practice? I know many teachers have these fears in the beginning. Thanks for your time; any advice would be greatly appreciated!