Questioning

Even though I graduated with honors from my teaching degree, I have had fabulous reviews on my teaching practicums and I have been told by seasoned professionals that I am a great teacher, there is something so scary about teaching. Whenever I enter a new teaching endeavor like a new school with a new practicum, or now the case is substituting, it always makes me question my ability. I wonder if I am good enough, if I can handle the kids, if I can think on my feet fast enough in sticky situations (like misbehaving kids).....

....I am thisclose to being a substitute teacher: my background checks are done, the last of my references are coming in, and my application will be in the mail in a couple of days. I am scared crapless. Sometimes I think it would be easier just to keep working in the mall at my optical store, selling glasses, making crappy pay, and all around being dang miserable, but it's just so....comfortable. I know my job, I know I'm good at it, and it's easy to do. I'm bored as heck, but I know what I'm doing.

I think that's why teaching is so scary. There's so many variables and it can be a real challenge. I know how to teach and I know I am a good teacher, but throw in a bunch of misfit kids, a couple of learning disabilities, a teacher that left a crappy lesson plan for the day and I'm left scratching my head, panicking and trying to come up with a lesson out of thin air. That's what I'm scared of. Can I really handle that? But then I remember how I dealt with 25 grade 2's, two of them with behavior disorders and EVERYTHING WAS FINE. I dealt with it. And I loved it.

I love teaching. I think that's what I keep reminding myself when I think it's easier just to work my current job. It's challenging but SO REWARDING. I guess it's also the challenge that makes it interesting.

6 comments:

Vanessa said...

Don't be so scared! The first day I subbed I was pretty nervous, but it didn't take long to get back into the groove of things.

I always brought candy and stickers and a few of my favourite kid books to read if there was some free time. I'd also put students' names in a hat if they were on task and draw a name at the end of the day. The student whose name was drawn could take some candy or stickers home with them. This trick worked really well, because everyone wanted to be the one to take home the goods!

I always thought that if I was a good teacher that I wouldn't need to bribe the students into good behaviour. But I found that when I was subbing, I had to have a "bag of tricks" that I could access to encourage on-task behaviour quickly because I didn't have a prior relationship with any of the students.

But being the fabulous educator you are, you probably know all this. I guess what I'm saying is don't be afraid to stoop to bribery if it keeps order in a classroom for one day. :)

Good luck!

P.S. I found doing the junior high jobs were the worst. They really eat you alive over there. I was once told by a Grade Seven girl that I could "suck her *&^%" and then she called me the big B. It was awesome. Elementary kids are much better, aren't they?

Kindra said...

Thanks Vanessa! I know I just need to get back to the swing of things. It's been a year and a half since I was in the classroom and it makes me nervous. I knew that I had to have a "bag of tricks"...I just didn't know what those tricks were, so thanks for the suggestions!

Anonymous said...

Hi Kindra! You will be amazing!! I guarantee that your first day you will come back and wonder why you ever worried. It's never as bad as you imagine! I never really had time to get nervous since I just graduated and then started subbing but it was awesome. No lesson planning or marking, it's a breeze! I'm so excited for you to start!!!!! I truly loved it! If you do happen to get a noisy class you just have to realize you get to leave at the end of the day probably never to see them again, haha.

P.S. I'm slowly starting to feel better but it is SLOWLY so I'm not sure if even this week would be good to come over, but I'll keep in touch.

Tarilie

Dallas said...

Ah Kindra, I think you'll do FANTASTIC! I would have loved to have had a teacher like you :) and you are absolutly right, it the challenges that make it fun and oh so worth it! good luck!

Erika said...

You should talk to my friend Natasha (www.prettysketchy.typepad.com/prettysketchy/) she is a substitute ART teacher in the Edmonton public school system. She's great and I bet she could pass on some sweet ideas.

Kindra said...

Tarilie - I'm glad you liked subbing, that makes me feel better. I've heard so many substitute teachers say that even if you had a bad day, WHO CARES? You get to leave! (I'm glad you felt that way too)

Dallas - Thanks for the encouragement!

Erika - I definitely will check out her blog!

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