Ben Guest Blog Assignment #1 6/5/11:
Reflect on your first week with the Mississippi Teacher Corps. How has the experience been so far and what questions do you still have?
My first week with the Mississippi Teacher Corps…Wow, where do I start? Overall, nervous energy has been the hallmark of this first week with MTC. I’m excited to be here in a new place and for the prospect of becoming a teacher of my own classroom in just about 6 weeks. I’ve also been excited to meet all these wonderful people from all walks of life who are some of the most committed and caring individuals that I’ve ever met. And all the learning has been awesome—only two years out of college and I really missed this atmosphere. Yet, this excitement is laced with constant nervousness. I’m nervous for what is to come. Be it from moment to moment in a role play or a long term anxiety for all that will be “having my own classroom” in August.
I’m also quite home sick and wanting desperately to see my wife, family, and friends. However, I’ve been so busy with all the happenings to get too sad about it, which I suppose is a good thing for me.
This first week has also brought in me thoughts of inadequacy as a future teacher, that I have the chance to actually do more harm in my first year than good. I know it’s a big learning process, but I honestly came in thinking if I read the books and studied hard, and got all that knowledge in my head I could do this. But I’m coming to acknowledge how important the practical and hands-on aspects of teacher education is. That, in order to become a great teacher, you simply have to try it and fail over and over again until you’ve grown enough to not fail every time anymore. Where the failures only last as long as you reflect upon them and allow yourself to learn and grow.
I am certainly not ready to teach my own classroom right now. If it were not for the role play activities, I might have a slightly different perspective of my current inhibitions. In other words, the role plays have been an awesome experience where I have failed miserably every time. It’s a humbling experience to realize that I can absolutely love science and talking about science to people, but at the same time not (at this point) have a natural way of telling people what to do and how to do it. Which the latter is, of course, an essential component of teaching in a classroom setting. I’m glad however, that I’m not entirely alone in this journey to become a teacher; I’m not the only nervous soul standing up in front of the class. I’m also glad that my cohort and all the MTC teachers and alumni are so supportive and truly want to make each and every one of us the best teachers we can be. My biggest and only question right now is one of whether or not I will be a good teacher.