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Pre-service Teachers

Doubting Myself

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Alexander Elliott Alexander Elliott 335 Points

Hey! My name is Alex Elliott and I’m a junior at Francis Marion University. I didn’t decide to be a teacher until I got into college, but I wanted to become a teacher because I enjoyed working with kids.  Through learning about different approaches of teaching to being able to be in a classroom through field experience, I have enjoyed becoming a teacher. After spending time with students in a classroom I feel like I made the right decision to become a teacher. However, social media has made me doubt myself so much. There are so many people saying not to become a teacher and so many things that should make us fear becoming a teacher which leads me to doubt myself. Does anyone else feel this way? How do you deal with these feelings? How do you find the encouragement to keep going into the education field?

Brianna Del Rossi Brianna Del Rossi 635 Points

Hi Alex! My name is Brianna Del Rossi and I am a senior at Rowan University in New Jersey. I am on the same page as you with enjoying working with kids and feeling as if I made the right field choice through my experience. It is actually bonkers because I am in the same boat as you! I have been having many doubts about being a teacher, especially after seeing scary social media posts and hearing stories from family members who were teachers. I always fear that teachers put forth so much and work so hard, only to get a little back. I feel like we are underappreciated and under paid, but overworked. Our work doesn't just end when the bell rings and the kids leave- we have to grade, lesson plan, contact parents, be observed by administrators, plan parties, and sooo much more! I tend to think, 'is it even worth it?' These feelings are so scary to have and I want you to know that you are NOT alone! I deal with these feelings by changing my perspective and focusing on the positive aspects of teaching- hugs from kiddos, helping a student grasp a tough concept, learning about students' interests, watching students grow, hearing them laugh, watching them do nice things for each other. There are so many beautiful aspects to teaching and it is so, so worth it. We get to make a difference in their lives. They are going to remember us for years to come. They will tell their kids about us. Don't give up, Alex! Good luck with navigating this hardship. 

Caitlyn Parker Caitlyn Parker 800 Points

Hi Alex,

My name is Caitlyn and I am currently a senior at University of Delaware. I also didn't decide to major in teaching until college, and more specificly until the end of my sophmore year. I never really imagined myself being a teacher and remember growing up thinking that I will never be a teacher. However here I am getting ready to student teach in the spring semester and graduate in May. I feel like once we actually begin our careers we will truly know how teaching feels, and we will know if it is for us or not. Though the education programs we are in are great and preparing us, and the field experiences are beneficial- I think we won't really know what it is like and if it is right for us until we have our own classroom and can do things how we want/feels best for us. Right now I do have doubts due to what people say about the teaching profession, and because of the workload of balancing classes on top of student teaching is overwhelming. I think this is normal for the position we are in. Hopefully we can see positive changes in the education system and teachers compensated more for all of the work that they/we do in the next few years so that we feel a little bit better in our decision. 

Nathaniel Siler Nathaniel Siler 2480 Points

Alex,

There is no question that we all doubted going into the field at some point, but I know what you are asking--how do you really find enjoyment where the benefits of the job outweigh the drawbacks? The simple answer that I have seen with many teachers (that is quite a generalization) is take one of two paths: if you are wanting to remain in younger grades, choose a theme or topic that you really enjoy, and revisit it every day. Everything in your classes revolves around this one theme. This has students always associating that your class, and their learning with you revolves around dogs or race cars or planets--the theme doesn't matter, you just having this topic that you relate everything to just helps. If you are in an older grade, my single piece of advice is different: specialize. Become the teacher with the best background in at first your school, and later your whole division at _______. The jobs that will naturally come to you then become very different, and much more enjoyable, as your specialization should be something you really enjoy.

I hope that helps!

Trianna Peralez Trianna Peralez 420 Points

Hello Alex! I am currently a Junior in the educator program at UTRGV, as I get closer to clinical teaching I am getting more and more scared and doubting myself so much. I always wondering, what if my teaching style is not the best for my future students, what if they never learn anything. A way I deal with these feelings is by allowing myself to remember why I wanted to become a teacher in the first place. I wanted to become a teacher because my sister has a learning disability and growing up I saw her struggle to enjoy school or learn anything. She is the reason why I keep going, I want future students to be able to learn, I try to see my doubts as ways to help push myself and my future students. Wish you the best!

Paige Adams Paige Adams 60 Points

Hi Alex,

My name is Paige Adams and I am a career changer into the teaching field and part-way through getting my MAT in Middle Grades Science at Rockford University. It sounds like your gut is providing you with confirmation on your decision. I think you should lean into your internal compass which is telling you what feels right and avoid social media, at least in regards to the content related to teaching and here is why. Given that you are still in school and your experience level is still low I don't think it serves you to watch content that inspires doubt especially when this content is coming from people you have never met and likely will never meet. Your circumstances and life path are uniquely different from these people posting this stuff (and they don't know you) and therefore the applicability of their advice is probably pretty low. Listening to my gut (after ignoring it for many years) was the best thing I ever did for myself and I encourage you to do the same. Best of luck in staying strong. You can do it!

Whitney Lynch Whitney Lynch 375 Points

Hi, Alex! I kind of always knew I wanted to be a teacher, but being in the classroom through field experience also makes me feel like I made the right decision. That being said, I also have times when I doubt myself, as well. I'm worried that I'm not going to be good at teaching, I'm worried that once I become a teacher I'm going to realize I didn't actually want to be a teacher and more. I think it's normal to feel this way, as I've heard multiple others say they feel this way, too, and while that helps me a little, it doesn't make it any easier. 

Camille Brown Camille Brown 1801 Points

Alex,

   It's important to surround yourself with a positive support system that believes in your goals and aspirations. Seek out mentors, professors, or peers who can provide encouragement and guidance. However, you are going to have many days where you wonder if you made the right decision. Teaching is a tough profession, ESPECIALLY in this day and age. I truly believe the good outweighs the bad though. Stay off social media, if you need to, and protect your mental health. Make sure to have boundaries when you do start teaching. Best wishes in the future!

Camille 

Paloma Fraga Paloma Fraga 740 Points

Hi Alex, my name is Paloma. I'm a senior at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and I can relate to feeling excited and confident about the career path I've chosen but also like you, I have seen a lot of negative experiences from teachers who left the field because they were overworked, underpaid, or felt as though teaching was not what they expected it to be. But I have always felt that if you have a passion and love for what you do it will make going to work not feel like work, and my adviceto you would be to surround yourself with teachers who love what they do and can uplift and inspire you in times when the easier thing to do is quit. Best of luck to you on your journey to becoming a future teacher!

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