This post does not have anything to do with my group’s issues on the election, but I thought it would be fun to share. This weekend I meet a high school technology teacher from upstate New York. He has been teaching for the past 15 years. And the greatest advice that he gave me was be passionate for what you are teaching and be prepared to be disappointed. I know the first one sounds obvious, but what I found it interesting is that he did not say be passionate about teaching, but what you are teaching. I felt a sense of relief from this first statement.
I, like some, are still trying to figure out if teaching is for us and I know that I wonder if I will have a passion for teaching. But when he said to be passionate about what you are teaching, I felt that I do have that. I love the subject of English and I am starting to see that if the passion of the subject is there, then perhaps the passion will carry over into teaching it. It seems to me that it is not the profession that you need to be completely passionate about (it helps), but the subject should be the real passion. Then you will love sharing that subject with other by teaching them. It is the subject that is the underlying drive for loving to teach.
The second part of his statement I had to chuckle at when he told me to be prepared to be disappointed by your students at times. He said that there will be times when they will let you down by not performing at the highest potential, or not trying to perform at the high level. But he said that you cannot give up on them, but by being prepared to be disappointed at times will save your sanity. He pretty much said that by expecting your students to fall short of your expectations just gives you more opportunities to make it a teachable moment for those students.
I found this one statement of our hour long conversation to be the most enlightening for me. I found it nice to hear an honest opinion and advice from someone in the profession that I’m trying to get into. I’m glad I was able to talk to him