3 Things I Learned:
The first thing I learned is that it is good to take risks and make mistakes in order to learn. Yerks (2004) explains,”The mistakes I made in the front of the classroom is when I learned the most… Each mistake was a critical incident in my development and I spent the time reflecting and analyzing on each incident” (p. 6). As a pre-intern, the majority of my anxiety comes from the fear of making mistakes. Yerks has inspired me to embrace my mistakes and turn my fear towards not learning. I don’t really know what I’m doing, teaching real-life students is completely new to me, and even experienced teachers make mistakes all the time. If anything, I should be more afraid of not making mistakes!
Another lesson learned from Yerks (2004) is that the anxiety I have with teaching may never go away, but all teachers experience anxiety one way or another. I am to teach my first official lesson this Thursday and everytime I think about it I panic and feel nauseous. Yerks’ message is a gift sent from God with the most incredible timing! Her experience has assured me that I am not the only practice teacher who feels this way and has, therefore, calmed my nerves. I am no longer waiting for the time when my anxiety is gone because that is unlikely. Rather, I have set a goal for myself to strive at turning that anxiety into motivation for my lessons!
While this next thing isn’t actually new knowledge for me, after challenging curricula and common teaching practice to the extent we have been, it is nice to be reminded that, simply put, “the prime responsibility of teachers is the educational well-being of their students” (p. 285). Of course, there is much more to this statement that needs to be unpacked, but, it is the basis: we are educators, we are to educate. Trying to solve the problems of today’s education system without having any real experience with teaching has brought on some anxiety. I will admit that I am a bit overwhelmed, and that is why I appreciated being reminded why I want this profession in the first place.
2 Connections I made:
The article explains, “Most teachers still say that they learned most of what they needed on the job” (p. 277). Looking at how common education practice has evolved thus far, there are some major areas that still need improving–such as diversity. Therefore, extended learning opportunities such as teacher workshops can be a necessary “base for knowledge”. As stated in the article, Goodsen (2003) “cautions teachers against accepting a purely practical definition of professional knowledge”, rather, he uses the term “public intellectual” to describe a teacher who’s professional knowledge reflects real experiences in the field.
Having just begun my pre-internship last week, I was able to connect well with Yerks’ (2004) opinion on “unfamiliar discourse” where she states,”Looking the part can sometimes help” (p. 5). I found it hard to view myself as a teacher. I didn’t even want to call myself Miss. W. It was so new and strange to me that I went out and bought some “teacher clothes” in hopes that looking the part would make me feel like a teacher and guess what?! It really did help. The look, however, was only enough to make me feel like a teacher; in order to actually be a teacher, I had to teach!
1 Question I Still Have:
Why is it that, when it is obvious students learned inadequately from a previous teacher, nothing is done?