The Words of a Future Teacher

“Okay class now we are going to go over…math! What is 2 +2?”

Every teacher knows these lines…we dreamed of the time we could actually stand in front of a group of students and teach.

Do you remember?

Standing in front of your “students” all ranging between your stuffed pig, teddy bear, and frog?

Those were the good days, when we knew what we wanted.

I was so sure of what I wanted to do. So ready to begin.

I remember when high school graduation finally came along, and the summer of answering “What are you going to do in college?” “Where are you going to school?” “Do you know the major?” I answered every question with excitement. “Education!” I would say. “Early Childhood Education! I wanna teach little kids!”

People used to tell me I made a mistake “Why do you wanna teach THAT age group?” “I can’t stand little kids!” And boy did I have an answer for them! “The dropout rates in school are depressing. I believe if we catch children when they’re young, and teach them how great and awesome it is to learn they’ll keep that with them as they go through college.” That was my answer every time. I was never discouraged.

I was so sure of this, I went into college with my head held high ready to face any challenges college could bring…I mean I ace-d high school, how hard could college be? AND I’ll be doing what I love…teaching! So let’s just say I was a little more than ready.

After two years of gruesome core classes the day finally came.

I was driving in my car when I got a call from a friend. “I got into the program!! Check your email!”

My excitement was unmatched…I was so ready!

When I got to my destination I opened my email and there it was…”Congratulations!…” I didn’t even read any further, I was so excited! I couldn’t wait to start. So I waited…and waited…and waited until the day we went for our information session.

I walked out of that information session with one thing on my mind….”What on earth have I gotten myself into…I’m not ready.” Days and weeks passed and then we had our first classes…”standards!” “projects!” “assignments!” Everything came at us like mosquitoes to skin! I was so scared, worried, afraid, frustrated, unprepared, and so many other emotions that I hadn’t realized that DAY had come.

The day of my placement. I had to be at the elementary school at 7:10 A.M. I was running late, ran into the school and met the administrator. She gave me my name tag and took me to the classroom. It was so beautiful, so full of life and fun! I felt a little better, but not much knowing all the assignments I would have to do when I got home that evening. And then I saw them…

Those beautiful children, one by one, popping their heads in the class then running in to place their book bags down  and greeting their teacher…then they looked at me…”Who’s this?” their little eyes scanning me, and wondering. I swallowed so loudly I’m sure they heard me. “Hello.” That was all I managed to get out. I’m sure they could sense my terror. But they smiled.

When all of those beautiful children finally sat down in front of their teacher, whispering to each other, pointing at me and giggling I got even more nervous. But then my classroom teacher spoke up, “hey guys, this is your new teacher…Ms. Skepple.”

My eyes shot open as the echoed in my head, “new teacher,” “new teacher,”… New teacher? This is all I’d been dreaming about! Finally it was here. Forget all the tests, assignments, and those darn Georgia standards! We’re here for the kids, those beautiful little minds just waiting to discover the world.

To my fellow teachers, it is our job to show our students how amazing it is to learn, to have an education, and to know the benefit of being knowledgeable. In light of the recent events of the APS scandal, let us never forget why we became teachers in the first place. It’s for the children, not for ourselves, but for those curious little souls that look to us to show them the way to the world.