On Monday, I started my first teaching job at a college I have already been working at for two years as a temporary staff. Three days into my very first job as an actual teacher, I found myself crying in my car on my way to work, wondering if I can actually do this. I felt so overwhelmed with everything and got myself into panic mode. I did some breathing exercises that my therapist taught me and reminded myself why I got into teaching.
Teaching has always been a passion of mine, I love the subject that I teach. I love being in the classroom and talking about what I love. I love that as a teacher you are never just a teacher. You are also a mentor, a helper, a counsellor, a role model and an advice-giver. As a teacher, this relationship runs much deeper than you could ever possibly imagine. I love that as a teacher, you are always learning so much from your students. Well, it will definitely feel that way, especially when you’re standing in front of the classroom full of blank, blinking faces. Your students will teach you how they learn, what works best, what sparks their minds, what challenges them and how to deal with their angsty selves. And they (of course) will learn so much from you, too.
The kind of teacher that I want to be is the kind who inspires students to always challenge themselves, to always believe in themselves and grow into the best versions of themselves, both in their personal life and academically. I want to be the kind of teacher who will guide them in interacting with the world around them, to continuously always seek knowledge and never stop learning. I want to be the kind of teacher that sparks their curiosity and question the “whys and the how’s”. I want to be the kind of teacher who makes students smile 5 and 10 years from now. I want to be the kind of teacher that always motivates students to not just be willing to try, but have the will to always try. I want to be the kind of teacher who installs the fight for success, to always keep pushing forward and to never give up.
Teaching isn’t how they portray it in the movies: a nicely well-dressed person with a classroom full of bright, smiling students. I can definitely say teaching is not a profession that you jump into and completely love it (at first). Like anything you do in life there will always be good days and bad days. There will be days when your lessons fall apart and completely flop, there will be days where you just want to give up and you will most definitely cry (again and again). But, you will always get up the next day, because you love what you do.
One of the best piece of advice that I have been given is “As a teacher, the nerves never really go away, you just become better at hiding them.”
Here’s to this academic year.