edu180atl: heidi southcombe 10.25.11
Today, I learned that I am no longer embarrassed to be a teacher. I went to a large state school in Virginia. This school of almost 30,000 works to produce engineers, architects, and businessman. Occasionally, a liberal arts student (like myself) slips in. But never a teacher. VT has not offered a teacher education program in years. The ‘teachers’ went to school down the street. This created a stigma; one that I had not truly realized until I became one.
After college, I joined an alternative teaching program and decided that I would dedicate the next few years of my life to creating transformational change in the classroom. However, since I’ve started teaching fourth grade, I’ve never once introduced myself as a fourth grade teacher. I have always been much more specific, impressive “TFA teacher.” I thought elementary teachers are cute. I wanted to be serious. Today, I learned there is nothing more serious than a teacher desperately trying to make a difference.
I go to work in the morning hoping to teach my 9 year olds… something, anything. But today, I taught myself (or they taught me). While observing my students and helping them with their projects, I realized that these children are making a far greater impact on me than I may be on them. Today, I became proud to be just a teacher: a first year teacher who goes to school everyday to be taught by the 24 little bodies that expect the same from me.
About the author: Heidi S. is a first grade fourth grade teacher, taking each day as it comes; green with naivety, she honestly believes that one teacher can make a difference and that education is the most important investment for any child, parent, or country (hint, hint) can/ should make.