1. Love for children
2. Love for teaching
Despite these two facts, I have had a little anxiety over becoming a teacher for several reasons. One, initially, was just the general stress that the teaching profession entails. Another reason, which I honestly don't care too much about, is the crappy pay teachers receive. Like I said though, I don't really care about making a ton of money as I am not expecting to be the breadmaker in my family, just a supporter.
The deeper I got into the education program since 2011, the more my anxiety has grown. Here is a list of things that overwhelm me about teaching:
classroom management, lesson/unit planning, assessing, grading, meetings, parent-teacher conferences, working with administrators, working with other teachers, dealing with troubled kids or kids with special needs, dealing with angry parents in general, feeling heartbroken over a child's unfortunate home life, being on my feet all day and coming home too exhausted to enjoy my time with my family, not having time to surf anymore (this is a legitimate worry because surfing is my stress reliever and outlet and something I am passionate about), and the list goes on...
Right now I am set to begin full-time student teaching in July. That is only 3 1/2 months away! I'm not worried at all about being in charge of my own class, but I am worried about managing everything else that semester will demand of me! Not only will I be planning and teaching lessons day in and day out, but I will be having to conduct my own action research project in which I focus on the progress of one student, and I will have to put together a professional employment portfolio, and I will have to put together another binder that fulfills the teacher's professional disposition standards, and the faculty at the BYUH School of Ed will be randomly popping in to observe me teach. I AM FREAKING OUT ABOUT ALL OF THIS!!!!
Am I mentally and emotionally strong enough to be a teacher? Will I be happy doing it? Can I handle the stress? Is my love of teaching and for children going to be enough to get me through each day? These questions have gone through my mind for this entire semester and I've had to seriously battle my thoughts of switching to the non-licensing track and graduating this April instead of December (which would be after student teaching). Each time I decided against switching out simply out of obligation... I might as well license since we are staying in Hawaii pretty much forever, and I would feel stupid graduating with a useless degree. I guess I could substitute teach...but that wouldn't give me a stable job. It's pretty much being on-call all the time.
I finally expressed all of these worries and frustrations with Josh tonight when we got back from family dinner with the Grahams in Kahuku. We sat in the car for an hour after we parked and I just let it all out. Josh did so well just listening to me, and then after I finished, he gave me lots of loving advice and encouragement. I want so badly to make a difference to the kids I may/will teach. I want so badly to reach each one of them. I don't want to become complacent if I do end up teaching. I want so badly to be confident that I can succeed as a teacher. I want so badly to be content and happy with my decision, whether it is to teach or not. I don't want to let people down, but mostly, I don't want to let myself down. I don't think I could live with the regret of backing out of something like this out of fear and worry. I think it might've been President Hinckley who said to never, ever sell yourself short of your potential. I feel like that's what I would be doing if I backed out now, out of fear. So I guess the only thing to do now is to accept how much hard work I am going to need to put into this upcoming Fall semester as I student teach. I will get a taste of what real teaching will be like, and then I will be able to make a much more confident and educated decision on whether or not I truly want teaching to be my lifetime career.
I've always been super indecisive when it comes to life decisions because I'm deathly afraid of making the wrong choice. Thank goodness I have a loving, patient husband who is there to push me when necessary, but is also my supporter in what I decide to do. I love him for that and more. So here's to my sucking it up and accepting that this is what the Lord has planned for my life. I hope I can fulfill His will for me and make Him proud. He is my Father (in heaven) after all.