I didn’t always know I would be a teacher. Like many of you, I had many other declared majors and future plans that didn’t involve teaching. At one point I was contemplating becoming a large animal vet simply because I loved being around my horse. Chemistry classes took care of that plan as I watched an A turn to a B and then a C, and finally a D. This happened all while getting tutoring help and asking the professor questions.
Back in 2006 I was working for Coca-Cola driving the big trucks delivering soda when my mother in-law invited me to observe a friend of hers, who happened to be an elementary teacher in town. Taking a day off from my regular job, I remember walking on the elementary campus thinking “what am I doing here?” But then it happened. I walked into Mrs. Ford’s classroom. Students were working on several different tasks at the same time while Mrs. Ford was bouncing from group to group coaching. As I sat there, one thought kept running through my mind I cannot believe this is a job! The kids were having fun, the teacher was happy, and everything seemed right in my world for the first time.
I cannot believe this is a job!
Taking a step back in time a little further. I played baseball all year round growing up and even into college. I distinctly remember my neighborhood kids you know, the kids that always wanted to play a game of whiffle ball or two-hand touch football in the street. I remember coaching kids younger than me and absolutely loving that feeling. Especially when they followed my advice and ripped the ball down the third baseline!
Remembering my past love of coaching and the experience I had in Mrs. Ford’s classroom was enough to propel me headfirst into the pool of elementary education.
Being the first to graduate from college in my family, I had many loans and decided to take out another one for my multiple subject credential and then eventually my Masters in curriculum and instruction. Keep in mind I had no choice but to work full-time at the soda company all throughout my associates degree, bachelors, and multiple subject credential. Many classes I attended in work clothes and then after class headed back to work. It was normal to have 10-12 hr days.
My baseball coach always said, “You get out what you put in”. This of course referred to the hard work needed for success in baseball. What I didn’t realize at the time was that my coach was also talking about LIFE. We can do mediocrity, but why?
We can do mediocrity, but why?
Working hard has always been something I have done. Why you ask? Well, simple. Working hard allows me to appreciate the things I have earned. I am proud to say that I have worked for the things I have, and I am good with that.
What still gets me fired up to this day, you ask? Great question! It is seeing students succeed, seeing teachers passionate about their teaching, and learning to get myself better everyday.
Teaching is long-term. We must put in the hard work to see the benefits in our students and our schools. So don’t be afraid to ask for feedback from colleagues to get this done. Relying on your site administrator as your only coach is not enough. Ask people to come into your room to offer advice! I did last year and it looked like this
What do you do to seek out feedback? What kind of feedback does your school provide? I’d love to know how it is with you!