I have always wanted to be a teacher! Literally since I was 4 years old my goal has never changed. Now I am 25. I have graduated with my BFA (not in education, due to a scholarship), and since then, I have been working on my MAT. Right after my graduation with my BFA, I found a full-time job (unheard of!) and began working during the day, going to school during the evening. It took longer than I hoped, but finally I am in the last few steps!
As all education majors know, the final step is student teaching. In order to do this, I had to quit my job, lose my benefits, move back in with my parents (after 7 years on my own) and take a leap into the unknown! Sadly, I suffer from having severe doubts in myself. No matter what I do, I doubt my ability; I blame the actress in me (did I mention my BFA was in acting?). Unless I have constant applause after each action, I don’t think I did it right.
What made me finally jump? It took me about 1.5 years to finally do it. I pushed it off and pushed it off. However, I truly feel that God had a different plan for me (whether that involved the procrastinating…well…). They found a tumor 2.5 inches large in my Grandmother’s brain this past Thanksgiving. They removed it a few weeks later. After another few weeks, we get the news that it was cancer and a really wicked kind (only a 4% survival rate and about 6 months of life expectancy post diagnosis). She was my rock, my cheerleader through everything, and now I had 6 months left with her. Again, it had to be God’s plan; the cards fell into place, I was able to take off each day from work after 11 a.m. and spend the day with her while my Grandfather and Aunt were at work. I fed her, clothed her, bathed her, did it all! After all, didn’t she do this for me? It was my turn now to take care of her. We had many an afternoon watching Matlock, Reba, Hot in Cleveland… I would read to her… she would tell me stories from her childhood. The best and hardest moments of my life!
Now comes the leap! Or I guess push… Just a few days before she passed, my Grandmother stopped me mid lunch-making and told me to sit down; she wanted to tell me something. She then began to tell me all these things that she wanted me to know for when I would be a teacher. She told me if I had a bad day remember this; if I had a great day remember this, and so on! Everything she could think of she let it all out. I knew it was time. Time to step up and be a grown-up and finally face my future head on… but also time to lose her.
She passed away in June; I began student teaching in August. My students have helped me through it all! From day one I knew she was there with me, through small things a student might say, or happening upon a story I had written as she was telling it. Even after her death she helps me each day by those pieces of advice she left me with. I will leave you with one: “Remember, above all things, never take a kid’s confidence away. Only build it. You never know if you are the only one that does. You never know what they have or where they go after school. The gravest sin you could ever commit is taking away a child’s confidence. That is the key to being a success!”