So, while it seems our class is on a big, extensive rant of sleepless nights, expensive tuition, the political debate, and the fact that CSU’s parking SUCKS, I thought I’d join in on the pity party and have my own say. Sorry if I’m stealing somebody else’s thunder.
Actually, it’s quite refreshing to read some of your posts–I’ll be commenting on quite a few of them, sorry if I can’t get to yours. It’s good to know I’m not the only one who’s struggling. I thought, fresh out of high school, I was good at English and that studying English Education seemed logical and, well, not EASY exactly but it sure as hell beat, say, engineering. Now I’m the one about the blow my top because I stay up till three in the morning writing goddamn critical analysis papers. After the end of last semester, where I literally had six essays, three exams, two projects, and a presentation all crammed into two short weeks, I thought to myself: “If I have to write another sentence that reads somewhat like this: “The author extensively emphasizes the internal conflicts between this character, particularly in the statement “(insert some meaningful quote from the supporting research/article here)” and when the character says “(insert correlating, symbolic reference from the text)” (end citation, page #).”…my professors will be sorry.” Now, I live with two BMS students (biomedical science), and so I know what it looks like to study your ass off for your classes. Who knew I’d be up just as frequently, and as late, as they do? Who knew I’d have just as much work as them? And which program is more prestigious, and whose job will pay better? Haha, not mine.
Now, as much as I complain about this major, I still really do love it. Despite all odds. Education comes from the heart (or SHOULD come from the heart, as the Dalai Lama says), and it seems like the people who are studying to become teachers, all of you in this class with me, are doing it because they have a passion to do it, because we WANT to. This isn’t a need, it isn’t just a job or a career, this says something about who we are as people. And that’s truly special. Sure, a lawyer, or an engineer, or a BMS student, can be just as great and compassionate and noble as us…but they didn’t chose it as a career. We’re setting out to help people–not just people, but kids, teenagers, youth–and not afraid to show everyone. Sorry, this rant definitely comes from my father, who was a math teacher for many years. This speech is well polished from many conversations with him: “we are educating our youth! No profession is nobler… People like you, future teachers, will be the most important influential force in a teen’s life. Those kids look up to you, and it’s so important you don’t let them down! The government does NOT do enough to support our education system.” Yeah, you get the point. If that doesn’t get me motivated, and intimidated, to be a teacher, than the guilt card does. Both my mom and dad are public school educators, and they never fail to put a lump in my throat (in both a good and bad way): “I’m so proud of you, Natalie, for choosing this career. We couldn’t be happier. You work so hard, and someday you will be a fantastic teacher! ” After conversations like these, it makes me resent every moment I complained or thought about changing majors.
I was going somewhere with this, but I think it got lost in my tangent. I guess one of my concerns is that my main goal as a teacher is to be somebody the students learn from and relate to. I’m going to be a role model in both knowledge and ethics. But at the same time, I’m afraid I’ll lose my style, my energy, my personality, under the pressure of administration, standardized tests, and parents. How do I keep “me” in my job as well as keep them separate? How do I walk this fine line? You know, Johnny Cash had a point.
While I’m ashamed to bring this up, I’m afraid I’ll wind up like that movie “Bad Teacher.” As unrealistic and incredibly stupid that movie was, it surprised me how much that main character was like…well, me. Just minus the cheating and the drug-using. I’ve got a bad mouth, I’ve got attitude, and will that go away just because I’m a teacher? A part of me, the part with an angel halo over her head, likes to think so. But the other part, the girl with a tattoo down her back, drives a beat-up truck, and lands the f-bomb in children’s toy stores, says no way in hell. Point being, I have to have a balance–how do you find it?
See you all tomorrow! -Natalie