PLN: Help Inspire the Would-Be Teacher

A friend of mine from college recently made the decision to uproot her life by leaving her job of five years and moving out of state to return to school in an accelerated program at our alma mater. Her goal: to impart her love of literature to students by becoming a secondary English teacher.

When we spoke before she interviewed for the program, we debated different approaches to potential questions, with me helping her mold her solid ideas into educationally tangible ones. She had wonderful thoughts – as most soon-to-be teachers do – but not the pedagogical experience to figure out how to effectively transfer those thoughts into a classroom – as most soon-to-be teachers don’t.

She did have that one thing that any aspiring teacher must, though, and that was an excitement to get into the classroom and bring a love of something educational to her charges.

Much has changed since that conversation.

Now this would-be excited student who is on the way to becoming a teacher is feeling overwhelmed by the stress of a program she feels lacks any substance and is not preparing her for life in a classroom. Despite my assertion – and her agreement – that there’s hardly anything that can prepare someone for life in a classroom other than life in a classroom, she feels disheartened and is doubting whether education is something she’ll ever feel a passion for.

Readers of this blog and members of my PLN are passionate people who know how to motivate and inspire. So, what words of encouragement would you give my friend, or anyone else who is in her situation? Let’s see if we can’t help motivate her to get her passion back!

Please leave your thoughts in the comments section.


2 responses to “PLN: Help Inspire the Would-Be Teacher

  1. After nearly 9 years in the journalism world, I became a Teaching Fellow where I taught in a high school for 6 weeks with THE WORST lead ESL teacher EVER. I had no exposure to teaching children or any of the other details that came with an elementary school in NYC, like teacher’s college, etc. And then I got a job as a push-in teacher, a position I didn’t even know existed. Talk about unprepared. So what I think is most important for being a good teacher is to be: stubborn and unrelenting in wanting to learn this profession, be resourceful; seek out teachers you respect and watch them do their thing. Ask questions. Imagine and visualize problems and how you’d solve them. I also read a lot of books and blogs. High school is not what I read about so I can’t really recommend books, especially not knowing what her specific fears are. I also think she has to tell herself that this job is an adventure that even after years in it, she may always feel unprepared because the students and their needs will always be different. So, being unprepared now is perhaps her BEST preparation.

  2. p.s. Feeling unprepared is didferenr from actually being unprepared. I meant that it’s all about having the right attitude. 🙂 Obviously I don’t recommend people go into teaching blind. Haha.

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