Passion: noun. Any Power or Compelling Emotion, as love or hate.
When it comes to teaching, yes, passion does manner. I don’t have it, hence why I’ve dropped out of my program. In addition, my master teacher, university supervisor, and head of the elementary program worried I didn’t love for it and that students were falling behind. They were right. Since I admitted to my master teacher that going through the teaching program was more a means to a end rather than something I really wanted to do, it was best that I leave.
My reasons for going to a teaching credential program was that it was a natural course to follow after completing City Year, an Americorps organization, and working as a special circumstances instructional assistant (SCIA). I knew it was difficult, but I thought I had the tenacity to handle it. I enjoyed my pedagogy and foundational classes, but going into the actual classroom was a whole different ball park.
Teaching in the classroom is the combination of many factors. Individuals must have no fear to be in front of the students (which I did not have), the ability to be clear in explaining concepts and directions (which I did not have), the ability to be assertive ( I was improving), and a multitasker (which I hated and of course did not have). Also, individuals must have the ability to think on their feet because no matter how much a person plans their lesson and practices it, it will never go as expected. Students will goof off, they will get distracted, and so on.
I struggled with behavior management, explaining my concepts to the students, my pacing, and many other factors. I could see that the students were bored and struggling. If I was a student in my own classroom, I’d have the same reactions, too!
Students come with a variety of needs. There is culture, language, special needs, level of academic development, socio-economic, and the list on. The teacher has to take in consideration of these needs when lesson planning. Certain concepts may need to be retaught for students who are below grade level or be advanced for those who are targeted as gifted. I had great difficultly incorporating all of these needs. I’d write a lesson plan and then realize that the I scaffolding I’d implemented wasn’t enough.
Teaching is a tough and rewarding career for those who love it and for those who have the ability to balance it all. I didn’t have the love for it nor did I the talent balancing the responsibilities.
Am I sad and frustrated that I studied over two years for a program I’d eventually leave without finishing? Yes, putting time and effort into anything and realizing you don’t want it anymore and that you don’t have the talent is a bitter pill to swallow. Do I regret going through the program? No, I’ve learned so much from what I studied and I’ve gained many skills that are useful. Am I scared? Yes, I am scared. Being in the teaching program was what led structure in my life. I felt safe and it was something that kept me on track, but I had a love-hate relationship with it ever since I started. Do I feel liberated? Yes, I feel that a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders and I can pursue my passion, which is writing.
The detour is scary and I don’t know what the future will hold, what I do know is that this is the right path
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