Hello fellow educators!! The school year has just started and for some of you, you’re already having those back to school jitters for various reasons such as new students, new school, or even new to the profession of teaching! Before you start reading this post, I want you to take a look at this video called 25 Things You Should Know About Becoming A Teacher.
Initially I was very laid back about my first day of teaching, but as the date gets closer and closer, I started to get really nervous. Nonetheless, I know that there is nothing you can do to be 100 percent prepared about becoming a teacher, but there are ways to get in the right mindset, which is how I stumbled upon this video. I think for me personally, my biggest fear is starting the first day, introducing myself, and the whole class just turns into chaos. For those of you who know me, I am extremely hard on myself when it comes to my work with my students, so to not be able to serve them the way I know I can scares me so much. However, one of the 25 things about becoming a teacher is knowing that you are going to fail (#4), so much, which at first sounds really disheartening, but in reality it’s actually really encouraging. Spoiler alert: If you’re going to become a teacher you are NOT going to be amazing in your first year. Nobody is amazing at anything the first time they try. The inspirational part about failing though is that when you do mess up, you LEARN. Ultimately, that’s my goal for my first year of teaching. I want to learn what it truly means to be a revolutionary educator. How can I, Khalil Suaray, empower students to become the best versions of themselves in a system that is designed to ensure their failure?
I honestly don’t have the answer to that, and I probably never fully will, but that won’t stop me and it shouldn’t stop YOU from searching for how to improve yourself a little more each and every day.
What truly inspires me about this video is that I’m not the only person worried or afraid. There are several people in my position that have felt that way about their first year teaching as well, and for someone to verbalize that into a video puts me in a better place.
I remember talking to this woman at my church (Epiphany Church, 1111 East Cold Spring Lane) yesterday who gave me simple, yet empowering advice. “Just be yourself”. One thing I appreciate the most about working with my students is that I’ve really learned who I am, and how to be strong in my identity. Students can spot a person trying to be something they’re not from a mile away. I too fell into that trap and I struggled so much with building effective relationships at first because I wasn’t secure in who I am. This work will FORCE you to come face to face with who you really are, and if you’re ready to accept that, flaws and all, your journey with your students becomes much more exciting. I am no where near even finished fully unpacking my identity and learning myself, and to be honest I don’t think anyone ever is. However, the exciting part about learning who you are through teaching is that everyday you aren’t who you were before. You’re growing into your true identity with everyday, and every experience.
Lastly, take pride in being a teacher! Like John said in the video, teaching is one of the most noble professions you can ever enter into. You are literally building leaders for the future. Do you know how important that is? Be excited for the amazing work you’re going to do, and most importantly look forward to how you’re going to continuously improve your craft, and become better at what you do every year. What I want to leave you with is this: Find what brings you down to earth when you start to overthink, worry, or get scared about teaching. Remember that despite the mistakes and hardships you will go through, there will ALWAYS be opportunities to learn which will in turn make you an amazing teacher.