My Experience & Journey
By Katriece Jamison
Teaching may be one of the hardest jobs that everyone thinks they can do. I definitely thought it would be easier than it is. At first glance you say to yourself that all you have to do is go in a classroom and teach about 25 kids a lesson every day, and all of them well somehow just get it. Sounds simple right, well what happens when most of your students don’t have food to eat, can’t speak English, or you just can’t get through to them. Are you just going to let them slip through the cracks and eventually give up on themselves? The profession of teaching is more than JUST teaching. You have to be a coach, a mentor, a role model, and sometimes even a parental figure.
My experience throughout this year long student teaching journey, so far, has been very eye opening. It gives you that insight to what it is really like before you get your very own classroom. I have experienced the supportive as well as the difficult parents to the students that just seem to not want to learn. It is my job to get those students excited about learning. If they do not take ownership and pride in their learning, then learning it won’t make a difference. It takes me an immense amount of time and effort to tailor lessons to ensure that I reach each and every student. And even with that preparation I still may not reach every single student. This experience has really opened my eyes to the different types of learners there really are, and how it is my job to try my best to reach each and every one of them.
Dealing with the ups and downs of this student teaching has been hard. Being a single parent and still having to take classes while being responsible for the learning of young people is such a big challenge. But just by knowing that I can impact the lives of so many young people just by believing in them and in return having them believe in themselves, is all I need to keep doing the things I need to do to reach them. Teachers have so much power, sometime we have no idea how what we say can affect young lives. One thing that a child hears from a teacher can be the reason they stay in school. Just one smile can cause a child to see that coming to school is important. Every action that I take has an effect on my students. With that in mind I try to only speak well into them, so they begin to do that for themselves. My goal when I get my own classroom is to make my classroom home away from home. Having kids be able to learn information and also to retain it without being prompted. What is meaningful will be memorable.
Every day that I walk into my student teaching classroom I wonder what challenges I will encounter that day. Will it be a quick fix type of challenge or will I have to really delve into what I need to do to conquer what is being placed in front of me. Everything is so unpredictable. I kind of have to roll with the punches. I never know how my student’s mornings went, or even how their night went, so it is important that we always start each day fresh.
I have known I wanted to be a teacher ever since I was in middle school. I have been lucky enough to have had enough great teacher role models along the way, as well my family, friends, and church family. Like I stated earlier I truly did not think it would be this difficult to become what I have wanted to become for so long. I never realized how hard teachers truly worked to get us, their students, to be engaged until I was in their position. I get asked the question concerning how much teachers get paid more than I thought I would. My answer is always that I would rather get paid bare minimum doing something that I loved, than doing something I hated and getting paid millions. The income I make won’t matter, but what will is that I will make a difference in the lives of all the students that walk in and out of my future classroom every single year.