To be or not to be...A TEACHER

     Hey guys. It has been tugging at my heart to write this post. In fact, I was in bed when the idea popped into my mind, and I just got up quick and started writing. By the looks of the title I know you are wondering what I am talking about. "To be or not to be a teacher" I am pretty sure that question has been asked at least one time by every educator on this planet. I know I find myself asking this question on the regular. I want to share some insight on the doubt we all seem to have when it comes to teaching. Some of you may take it and some of you may not, and that is totally okay with me. My motto is to "take what you need and leave what you don't" 

    As educators, it is very hard to balance home and the classroom because often times, we are taking work home. Whether it be grading papers, creating an arts and craft project, or making a gift for the class because we love them oh so much... either way there is no boundary...NO limit. Sometimes, it's just the stress from work that we bring home too. Such as a misbehaved student, a student that is not giving effort, tough parents, or something dealing with colleagues. 

    In all of my years working in this field, I have dealt with any and everything you can think of. You know how people say "It takes a special person to become a teacher" It is true. We are superheroes. However, Superheroes get tired too, superheroes have self doubt too, and superheroes are human!!!! 

When I was a PreK teacher, I taught without even trying. It wasn't a thought, I just did it. It was so easy I could do it with my eyes closed. But guess what, its not until this school year teaching K-1 that I was starting to feel challenged. Remind you this is new to me and I have no experience teaching elementary aged students. I have subbed here and there but it is not the same. I have to create lesson plans from scratch, plan activities, teach the students how to read, create my own assessments and the list goes on. When you really think about it, it is scary lol. From August all the way until now (February) I have been feeling insecure and scared about what I am doing in my classroom. After evaluating, I also realized there were some other things that inspired this feeling. Below I am going to share some things that made me doubt my teaching and what is helping me get through the doubt and hopefully anyone who may be feeling this way too. 

Comparison (For Show vs. Reality)

    I honestly think that this is a huge problem with educators this day and age. We find ourselves comparing our teaching skills to someone else's. Aside from my lifestyle blogger Instagram, I have a teacher Instagram and to be honest, sometimes I get overwhelmed on there because I see teachers making this thing look easy. They are so creative. Making shirts, stickers, planning fun activities, recording every minute of themselves teaching in the classroom. Let's not start with the classroom decor and the list goes on. However, I have come to realize especially being on social media, no one is going to show the "bad" side of things...only the good. Now, I am not saying that what these teachers post online or what have you is not real, I am just saying that sometimes even though the classroom looks well put together and the teacher creates cool activities, does his/her students understand what is being taught to them? Are they grasping the information at hand? Are the students being recognized for who they are as individuals? etc. We never truly know. The grass is NOT always greener on the other side. Stop comparing, and teach how YOU want to teach. You know your students as well as their needs in YOUR classroom.

Testing and Certification

    If you ask me, I wish certification testing would be banned. I feel like this test is rigged and its hard to pass. Thankfully for me, I passed some and I know what to expect the next time I go for the test. However, I feel like the way teachers should be tested is by being in a classroom and their experience. There are some GREAT teachers out here that are still having a hard time passing the exam and I don't think its fair to test them based solely on the books and remove them from the classroom if they fail. This can really place a negative mindset on a teacher if they fail any part of the exam. What I suggest is, taking each test one part at a time. Do not get overwhelmed by studying each subtest. Choose one, study, take the exam, PASS... then do it all over again until ALL is complete and passed. Another suggestion, is gaining a relationship with colleagues who can help you with advice on what they did to pass the test and the most IMPORTANT thing in my opinion, is to gain a relationship with the principal. Show him/her your dedication and motivation for teaching. 

Truth is...

        Sometimes when we doubt ourselves and our ability to teach... Really take a look at the children and their reaction to us when they enter the classroom. DO they run and give us a hug, do they come and talk to us about EVERYTHING! lol, best of all, do we catch the "ah-ha" moment when it finally clicked, do the parents send emails and messages to us thanking us for all of our hard work and how proud they are to see their child reading or writing sentences etc. I think doubt will always play a factor because we are human, but I believe that when we catch those remarkable moments, I just know that we ARE in the RIGHT profession. 

"The fact that you worry about being a good teacher, means that you already are one" -Jodi Picoult