Dear Future Teachers,
I wonder what many of you are doing. Some of you are still in high school, trying to navigate through your teenage years. I remember my time in high school. My high school was full of sports and hanging with my friends. It was in high school when I realized that I wanted to be a teacher. Matter of fact, I was seventeen when the idea crept into my mind.
If you have decided that teaching is something that you want to do, hold it dear, and don’t worry, there will be plenty of time to train and prepare for the day you lead your classroom. If I could give you a bit of advice during this time, it would be to pay close attention to the teachers you have now. Look at what makes them a great teacher or what makes them a lousy teacher. I also want you to know now that the decision to teach is one of the most important decisions you will make in your life. Many will be counting on you to be successful.
To my future teachers in college right now going through your preparation program, I encourage you to take in everything you are learning. I want you also to know not every scenario you will face as a teacher can be found in a textbook or an article. The best training is an experience. I encourage you to get out into schools and see it for yourself outside of your mandated experiences. I promise you the semester or two-semester of student teaching will give you an introduction, but it won’t prepare you for teaching. I want you to take the time to embrace your program because it will provide you with a foundation, but that foundation will not be enough. You have decided to embark on this important journey, and you must understand the commitment you have made; it cannot be taken for granted. The future students that you will be responsible for a year or even four years from now are counting on you along with their families. Think about the teachers who helped you get to where you are and try to be a little better than they were.
To my future teachers who are in a career and thinking about a change, before you make a change, realize the decision that you are making. Understand that teaching is not just a career you decide to switch to because you do not have anything else to do. Teaching is not something you can say, “Oh, nothing else is working; let me try teaching.” You do not try teaching, and this is not a place filler as you figure out your life. There is too much at stake for you to come into this as something to do. So again, before you decide to do this, be sure you are in for the long haul. Be sure this is something you really want to do.
I hope each of you is excited about this commitment. Our children deserve the absolute best, and if you are committed to giving them the best, then I welcome you with open arms. Just know there will be some rough days, but I promise the good days will far out weigh the bad days.
I look forward to you joining the movement. The work we are doing is significant.