Becoming a Teacher | Update
Way back in August of last year I wrote Time flies | My thoughts on becoming a teacher and in the comments a couple of you asked me to put up another post in a couple of months letting you know how things were going, so that's what this is!
When I wrote that blog post it was before I had started the course at all. Since then I have learned SO much and I really have been having the time of my life. I know that in the future I am going to look back on my life and see this as my best year, the year when everything happened, it's like the seed to the rest of my life. Anyways, I digress. Sorry about that!
In August, I worried that I wasn't mature enough and grown up enough to take on the role as a teacher. At that stage I hadn't really interacted with many teachers on a personal level therefore I didn't know how normal, flawed, and sometimes crazy and immature they can also be.
Now, all of my closest friends are also student teachers. I have seen them teach, they are amazing and they definitely all have the qualities of an excellent teacher. But I have also seen them in a much more unprofessional manner. I have seen them drunk off their faces, I have heard some dirty jokes from them, or things that I would have previously thought teachers would never say! I have seen them act like complete teenagers! I have even seen them make-out with their boyfriends/girlfriend (and sometimes strangers haha) But hey 'they're just student's' I thought, they're young like me, they're not 'proper' teachers yet.
Then during my teaching practice I have interacted with some 'proper' teachers some of whom used to teach me and it has amazed me how different they are in the staffroom. I was actually shocked when I heard my old English teacher swear and learnt that he sneaks out of the school grounds to smoke. I have heard many, lets just say, 'interesting' conversations between teachers in the staffroom. I have learnt that one of the, what I thought was a scary teacher, is a complete prankster in the staffroom (throwing a basket of paper on top of another teacher and the likes) and I have heard them say things about their students that I never thought they would say but it really made me laugh.
So one of the main things I have learnt since that post back in August is that I am mature enough to be a teacher. I don't need to be some kind of super perfect, sophisticated robot. Nobody is. We are all human. I am fully capable of being a responsible, professional adult as well as also just being my crazy 'young,wild,free' self.
I think teachers are slightly schizophrenic.
For example one of my closest friends is a total sweetheart in real life, so quiet and timid but fun. But his description of himself as a teacher and the punishments he uses - you would not believe this person could be so strict!
Notice I said 'real life' I think that's funny.
I definitely feel that teaching can be just like acting, and I have been told by people who are in the job for decades that you just have to find 'your teacher face' 'your teacher voice' 'your teacher self' it is all a performance. You can then let the 'true' you shine through once you know the students respect you.
So after being in college and becoming best friends with other student teachers as well as being out in my old school on teaching practice and realising how normal and fun the teachers I knew as a student actually are, I am a lot less worried about if I am grown up enough and professional enough to be a teacher yet.
Of course I am still learning how to create my 'teacher' persona and put on the 'performance', hell sometimes I laugh at my students when I really should be telling them off, but it is a work in progress and it's really exciting.
I already feel like I am two people. The person I am in the classroom who is (I like to think) responsible, authoritative, professional, knowledgeable, passionate, respectable and hopefully kind and approachable. Then I am this other person who stays up way too late, spends way too much time online, who's room is a mess, worries about boys and all that shit, goes out clubbing and gets drunk, takes selfies and does heaps of immature stuff. And that is totally OK with me because I now realise that none of them are perfect, it doesn't mean I can't be an amazing teacher.