Most students can describe that one teacher, the one who does not have a smile but instead a sneer, the one who seems like they teach simply to terrorize their students, that one no good, very bad teacher. But where do these destructive teachers come from? Well the answer is very plain and simple: they sit beside us in class, they listen to the same lecture, write the same papers, and answer the same questions. In fact, they might even be us. These teachers were once bright-eyed students with dreams and a full future. But instead of reaching their potential, they fell into laziness and disdain.
On the trail to greatness, step lightly and carefully. One misstep may lead to a hopeless life, a living nightmare that was once your greatest dream. Dr. Seuss wrote in Oh the Places You’ll Go, “I’m sorry to say so, but sadly it’s true that bang ups and hang-ups can happen to you.”
Doubt. We all feel it creeping into our hopes and dreams. Each day waking up and walking across the cold, wet campus, I feel the immense weight of higher education on my shoulders. I feel entirely uncomfortable walking without a backpack. I have forgotten how it feels to be completely awake. Seeing a child is just weird. Day after day, month after month, my resolve begins to decay. I can’t help but wonder, what am I doing with my life? Where is my youth? Are they doomed to be crushed each week by the weight of yet another paper and project, not to mention social life or even laundry? Internally, we all battle in our own hearts between what is easy and what is worth the struggle.
Do not give up! Inside every good teacher is an exhausted and over-worked college student. You see, I believe that anything worthwhile is not going to be easy to accomplish. In front of each bright-eyed education major are two very different paths. There is one path pursued by students who push their limits and stretch in the face of adversity, the students who take each class as a valuable experience and work to gain as much knowledge as possible. These teachers do not get bored with teaching, but instead their abilities and minds are opened to the value of the work they are performing.
The other path is tread by students who coast by, accomplishing the minimum requirements to graduate and couldn’t care less about creating an engaging classroom. The difference is small, but each day the choices that I make in each lecture will shape the kind of teacher I will be. So beware the no good, very bad temptation to become anything less than the best.