Do you have dreams of teaching a class of students in your future? Teachers educate students who are going to be leading the future of the world. On Thursday, February 18, 2016, STAC’s Offices of Career Development and Alumni Affairs held an Educator’s Reception. Education majors had the chance to hear from teachers who are currently teaching in schools. All the teachers there were alumni from St. Thomas Aquinas College. Each of the teachers stood up and introduced themselves and gave helpful advice to the students. They shared funny stories, what their first year teaching was like, and what makes a good student teacher versus a bad one. As a current education major, I was very interested in what they had to say.
The following is some of the advice they gave to those who attended the event.
- As teachers, you have to want to be part of children’s lives.
- You need to be passionate about teaching or your students won’t be passionate about learning.
- There will be times where a lesson doesn’t go well or you think your students don’t like you. When you’re feeling down about choosing teaching as a career, just think back to why you wanted to become a teacher in the first place.
- One of the teachers there shared a baseball analog, “You are not going to hit a homerun every day, just have the goal to hit a single every day.” I really liked this message… One day you think back to a lesson where everything went perfect and was great, like you hit a homerun. Then the next day the lesson doesn’t go perfect. If you can find small, positive things that came out of your lessons, you hit a single for the day.
- Another piece of advice they gave was that your job as a teacher is not secure, like any other job. You need to be diverse and have certifications in different areas to become more desirable.
- Being a substitute teacher is a good way to start out and get your foot in the door to teaching. They talked about how the good student teachers were the ones who dressed professionally, were prepared, patient, arrived early and stayed late, and were creative. They said “yes” to everything that was offered to them. Good teachers continue to learn and accept that they can be wrong at times.
- Teachers want their students to like them and think they are cool but don’t try to be friends with them.
- Think about the teacher you want to be known as. Don’t become a teacher that you didn’t like.
- As a teacher always write your lessons and examples down.
- Read books to yourself before you read them to your class, and preview YouTube videos before showing them, as these teachers learned from past mistakes!
- Finally, have goals for yourself and your students so you are not just teaching to the curriculum. For teachers, it’s like putting on a show 180 days a year to their students; create something students would be glad to reflect back on.