Is Teaching the Right Choice/Skills Needed

Discussion in 'Student & Preservice Teachers' started by bakingfunmom, Aug 10, 2011.

  1. bakingfunmom

    bakingfunmom Rookie

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    Aug 10, 2011

    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!
     
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  3. bridgetbordeaux

    bridgetbordeaux Companion

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    Aug 20, 2011

    I went back to school at age 46 to become a teacher. I did feel like I had forgotten many things from when I was in school but it all came back to me quickly. Plus, I had to start from scratch (I was a dental assistant for 22 yrs) and so I had to take the core classes first. Then I had to take the content classes and then the methods. After 5 years of school, and several practicums and student teaching, I feel like a teacher. Will I be nervous when I get my first job? Yes, but I will be fine. Speaking in public is just something that gets better the more you do it. You realize that it's not that important to please everyone, just be yourself, be respectful and polite and you will be fine. I am glad it took 5 yrs of school for me because I learned a lot and gained a lot of self confidence in that time.
    Good Luck to you
     

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