I'm nine years old and my Mom has brought home old teaching materials that she no longer needed. For her, they were outdated and useless. For me, it was a chance to take a glimpse into my future. Using barbies as bribery, I entice my younger cousin to play my student for countless hours. I give her worksheets, I tell her to pretend she knows how to read so that she can read her textbook, I point to obscure places on a map and expect her to know them, I love every second of it.
This is who I am.
A natural teacher personality. An eagerness to impart knowledge. This feeling that I was predestined to be a teacher stayed with me for many years after these play-dates ended. Before I knew it, it was time to go to college and pursue my degree. I was ready.
I ran through my first four years easily, slightly stumbling (ok, falling flat on my face about four to six times) when it came to math, but in my English and History courses I was learning and progressing more than I ever thought possible.
And then my first teaching class came four years into my college education. I walked into class that first day basically thinking I would run the show. After all, i'm a "natural teacher" (cue hair flip). My professor handed me a packet when I walked through the door, and that's when it happened.
I could not just go into my classroom and be a natural or just wing it. The Utah State Core Standards packet was only the beginning. My dream came with limitations, rules, boundaries, unique challenges, awful pay, long hours, guidelines, awful administrators, the list goes on for days.
My dream of being a teacher was a three dimensional object that I had only seen as one dimensional for so long and now I was holding it in my hands, finally able to examine all the sides of it. I was not sure I liked what I saw.
I instantly looked for a way out, a backup plan, anything to get me to an easier career that did not have so many downfalls.
"I'll go on study abroad. That will fix everything." "I will move to Boston like I had planned. Everything will be better there."
I was frantic. Until I realized that these "solutions" all were three dimensional as well and again, I was only looking at one side.
So that left me with a feeling that life was pointless. Then I had another realization. (are you keeping up here?)
Just as I only saw teaching as this wonderful dream that had no downfall, I started to begin to see it as an awful thing that offered nothing but disappointment. That is only looking at one side as well. However, nothing good is one dimensional. We have to have all the different aspects of it in order for it to be complete and fulfilling.
So hopefully this time next year I will be in charge of my own classroom. I will have bad days that I cry in my supply closet. But I will also have days that I think "Wow, I'm a natural!"
Hey! My name is Riley Jo. I have been living off Dr. pepper and a prayer since 1991. My life motto is one that Joey Gladstone taught me on Full House... make fun of yourself before anyone else has a chance to do it first! That's my goal here. Thanks for stopping by!