I, along with over 11 million other people, read the the blog Humans of New York. (In case you haven't read Brandon's blog I would suggest you take a look https://www.facebook.com/humansofnewyork) The other day I read a post that stopped me in my tracks. Over the past week Brandon has been focusing on a school called Mott Hall Bridges Academy. He has talked to the principle Ms. Lopez, students in the school, and also the Mott Hall Bridges teachers. Below is the post about a converstaion a teacher, Ms. Powell, had with Brandon that really resionated with me.
All of a sudden I realized that Ms. Powell had summed up all of my fears about teaching. Recently I have heard all about the gaps in the education system, how students can be multiple grade levels behind by the time they reach your classroom. My biggest fear is that I will not be able to help my students be successful. How can I teach my students to factor polynomials if they have limited multiplication skills? As a teacher I know I will always have more material to cover than I have time to cover it in. These students who come to me grade levels behind need so desperatly to be successful, but where will I find the time to fill in the gaps? I am sure this is one of the biggest stuggles amoung teachers, and it cannot be fixed overnight.
I think the work of a prepared teacher starts long before they ever step foot in a classroom. My work as a teacher begins now. I am learning the skills and practices of successful teachers, but in my opinion the most important tool I can have as a teacher is collaboration. There are thousands of other teachers in this country who have the same fears I do, and they face them on a daily basis. They are my most valuable resource. Its important that I learn to ask them questions and learn from them.
We teachers are a team, that needs to work together. We all have the same goal, we want our students to be successful. At times my fears about becoming a teacher can be overwhelming, and I think that I am not cut out for this. Then I realize all of all of teachers I look up to, that inspire me, have all had the same fears. They have had sleepless nights worrying about how they are going to fit in all of their material, and they have experienced the joy of watching a student finally understand something they were stuggling with. I am terrified to become a teacher, but I know as long as I have thousands of other teachers ready to help me in my journey, I will be alright.