When you first look at me, you might think she is content in her life and hasn’t had much hardship. I know my life has been more privileged than some, but in terms of my hopes and dreams, it hasn’t been easy.
I went to school for teaching and was all geared up to be in control of my own students. Once my student teaching began, I could tell that it was tougher than I had anticipated to handle young children. I tried my best to follow the main teachers’ management methods and engage the students, but the nerves always got to me once something didn’t go quite right. I was prepared with my lesson plans and organized the materials, but the students just didn’t act the same with me being the teacher. After I had gone through my half-time and full-time teaching experiences, I was told that the school did not think I was ready to get my license..I would have to complete my full-time teaching again.
I was instantly crushed and ashamed. I couldn’t tell anyone. I believed that if you were in the masters program, you should already be great at teaching. And while I was finishing the term with an incomplete, many other grad students were receiving their first jobs. I felt like no one understood what I was going through. After retreating inside myself and heading back home, I had to think of what to do. Teaching is my passion and I needed to make it a reality. I would not give up on my dream.
I took a year off, rather than going back to school in the Fall. I was simply not ready to face failure again. And I hoped that I might be able to get a teaching job that did not require my license. I ended up at a daycare in the Pre-K room, which turned out to be full of youngsters who did not listen to me either. The things the boys did were just appalling (one peed outside on the playground, just because he wanted to irritate me). He laughed as he did it – while I was opening the door to let him in to the bathroom, he started going outside! I mean…?! There was no management systems set up because it was a daycare setting. After a year, I was ready to go back to become a “real” teacher.
My second term of full-time teaching went better, but I still had faults in management. Math in particular was the time that the students just did what they wanted.. I had to learn how to be stricter with the kids that push all the teachers’ buttons. But I did pass and was able to get into the system for substitute teaching for the rest of the year. Every teacher I know has said subbing is one of the toughest jobs – it is not your classroom and you haven’t built any relationships and won’t for the one day or half a day you are with the kids. I definitely had to build a back bone and took away more recesses (or called the office for help) than I hope I need when it is my classroom.
Struggling in your career or leading up to doing what you love helps to prove whether it is all worth it. And I know that teaching is for me. Teaching is the only job that makes me feel fulfilled. Subbing helped me realize that all teachers go through tough days or weeks with their students (and sometimes with a few students all year). It showed me that I wasn’t alone in my experiences. If it was a tough class, all the other teachers would be there to support me.
I have been told that I look like someone who is always happy. I do try and live with a positive attitude, and brush off little daily things; however, struggling with teaching will always be something that affects me deep in to my core. I will not choose a different career path because teaching has chosen me. It pulled me in and threw away the key. I am definitely aware that this story of struggle is nothing compared to many around the world – but what has affected people is what makes us unique.
I am more than a skinny “cute” young girl or a smile as you pass by. I am more than meets the eye.
“I am more than breath and bones.”
I am a teacher who loves music, my cat, food, and blogging about it all! I am also trying to stretch myself as a writer in terms of my voice and creativity. My blog is Hannah’s Happenings