Do you ever think back in time to the moment when you discovered what you wanted to be when you grow up? Or the moment where you started your education for that career? Or your first official day of work when you have been hired? Well the entire process leading up to that exciting moment is not as easy as one may think. In fact, teaching is actually one of the most challenging careers when you come to think of it.
Just recently, I heard someone commenting on how challenging teaching was, that it was not what they thought it would be. For that reason, they would not be pursuing this career anymore. I think when I was in university, I had some kind of idea how challenging teaching would be, but you don’t really find out until the first day of your practicum. Even then, some candidates do not feel the full challenge of teaching until their first day of work. I feel for the people who go through even half of the process only to discover it’s not for them. Perhaps there needs to be a way for candidates to discover that they be not interested in the career before they put all the time and energy into the program. I remember many students dropping out of my program, maybe realizing the career was more challenging than they had first thought. I am so thankful that was not the case for me as I had been sure since I was 15 that I wanted to become a teacher. I am so grateful I had the most supportive mentors, teachers, friends, family and of course, my placement students who made my job easier than it could have been.
Think about all that teachers do within one day. Not only do they have to care for the safety and well being of 20+ children but they also have to run a successful program while thinking about the specific challenges each child faces. I think during university, I had assumed the lessons we teach were in the curriculum documents or would magically appear in a cupboard within our future classrooms. But no, these lessons have to be carefully curated for our classrooms with what sometimes feels like over 100 things taken into consideration. Then, we second guess them and try to pull them off flawlessly, hoping each child learns something from the lesson and listens to it. That has to be done not once, not twice but sometimes six times throughout a school day. That in itself is a huge success! Plus all the little intricacies of the day have to be perfectly run as well. Teaching is not easy and although it is the most rewarding career in the world (in my opinion), you have to be ready to commit to the time and patience that is required.
Once again, I am so happy my 23 year old self saw past the challenges during my placement, the challenges in the university classroom, the long hours in and outside of the classroom and made it through to where I am today. I do not write this post to scare anyone but really, to congratulate all of us who made it out and are now living proof of what hard work and determination look like. Congratulations and well done because being a teacher is NOT a piece of cake!