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Sunday, January 11, 2015

It Begins (Dear Katie V3 #17)

Dear Katie,

You are about to embark on an experience in education preparation that is the most significant.  Student teaching.  It will give you the most detailed look inside the life and work of a teacher.  It will allow you to better judge if this is the profession for you.  And your cooperating teacher is going to give future principals a look into how well you can handle all that will be thrown at you.

May first bit of advice on your first day is

Be Bold

You are going to be tested by your students.  Do you have what it takes?  Take a deep breath and tell yourself there is nothing that any child can throw at you that you can't handle.  You have allowed yourself to be involved in some many aspects of college life.  You have written for a local newspaper.  Enter the classroom with the same boldness that you had when walking into that newsroom for the first time, or entering the room your freshmen year in college where that club you wanted to join met.

You can do this and no little kid is going to stop you.

Your grandfather always wanted me to see it as an "us vs. them" mentality when I entered the classroom.  "Those little buggers are after your job" he would tell me.  In a way, he was right.  Standing in front of a class with a lesson in your head to initiate while 20+ students have their own agenda can be a fight.  You are battle tested and ready.  Will you get flustered, yes.  Will you make mistakes, yes.  Push through it.  There is nothing they can dish out that you cannot handle.  You are a very composed young lady and that will help you.

You will come back to your dorm some nights feeling like a failure.

Yes, there will be a few lessons that looked so good on paper that will flop.  Yet, that will become a lesson for you.  Is it worth salvaging?  If you could do it again, what would you do differently?  Yes, after 23 years of teaching, I have lessons that will work that I can pull out of my pocket, but that came about due to 23 years of failed lessons.  Don't ever get discouraged, learn from your mistakes because that is what you want your students to do.

Be tenacious!

I have learned that anything you want in life comes with the price of hard work.  Things that are worth something are never easy to obtain.  If teaching is what you spend your life doing, then work at it.Work at it. Work at it. Work at it.

And from what I can see, you are prepared and willing to do just that,

Get ready for an adventure.

Uncle Kevin

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