Today I want to address me as a teacher as there is a point I need to walk regarding how I see myself as a teacher and how I have been allowing myself to be defined as a teacher based on how other teachers shape me. When I was acquiring my degree as an Early Childhood Educator I had to do 100 hours of observation. So certain classes I took had the observation requirement. The placement was organized by the university. I got to observe K-3rd grade. Then I had my student teaching that took place in 2nd grade and Pre-K. During this whole time I was to be observing, learning methods of teaching and placing those methods in practice.
The student teaching was the big deal because I had to gradually take over the classroom for full two weeks- being the teacher in the class. I was to get feed back on what I can do better and what I am already doing better. That meant taking lots of criticism by my professor who came to observe me teach as well as my co-operating teacher who was there to guide me. I, of course, took the criticism/guidance and tried to fix that which I was told I did wrong with ways that the teacher thought I should be doing things because after all it is her classroom. Now, I am not saying that I did not need the assistance, of course I was not aware of many things I may have been doing "wrong". My mistake was that I really took this into me and made it my starting point to shape myself as a teacher so I built a dependence on a professional teacher to tell me what I should do and how I should do it. In terms I did not have a solid/stable ground to bring myself up to the table and start establishing myself as a teacher, seeing what I wanted to utilize from what I have learned as an expression of self. The feeling I experienced was that of floating and not knowing what I was doing, feeling like I was less than the professional teacher (that is a teacher who has taught for many years and has established a way of what works for her/him and the students). I never truly had the time to experiment with what works for me and the students. One of my biggest issue that causes insecurity within me about being a teacher is classroom management- addressing the students in particular. I am familiar with many ways but somehow those ways don't work for me and sort of go against how I want my classroom to be. So there is an inner confliction when I was using those methods (that is for another time of discussion).
So then I got hired on my first job post graduation as a certified teacher in a pre-k room- and I felt completely thrown off. And as we at Desteni say- everything that one needs to face will be placed in a position so that we can face ourselves. Another words that which you need to face will manifest in your world so that you can face it. And it will keep happening over and over and over until it is faced and dealt with. Also every person out there that you have a reaction towards is showing YOU a piece of yourself that you need to work on (in a reflection). Sure enough, my first challenge came up. My position required me to supervise 4 other teachers. I will not get into the specific details of the position as they are irrelevant, but the one relevant thing was that we were supposed to work in a team in order to create a safe and learning environment for the children. Two of the teachers were simply rude towards me in sneaky ways (which is their responsibility to face) and the result was that I was not able to build an effective relationship with them. That however is beside the point. I am here to talk about what that experience showed me about myself and what I still have to face.
This position simply reflected my insecurity-instability about being a teacher in practice. I was unstable with my starting point which caused insecurity and then when I was not supported by my team I broke down and was not able to handle standing up for myself and even worse I let them define me as bad teacher and not good enough. That resulted in fear as a reaction to them and then that fear turned into anger. So I am walking a few points actually- the fear, anger reaction and my definition of who I am as a teacher and to learn how to handle a future situation like this without reaction- in stability.
Next blog- Walking the points!