Fears, Faith and Quotes.

1:45 PM

I'm officially two weeks into my last semester of classes at BYU.

It's so exciting and scary that this chapter of my life is almost over. Sometimes I get REALLY REALLY excited about finally being a teacher (since it has been my dream literally for as long as I can remember) and other times I am SCARED. BEYOND. BELIEF.

Who am I to think I'm qualified for such an insurmountable task?
Who am I to think I have the ability to teach students concepts in a way they can understand?
Am I really ready to have to get up every morning at 6:00 (or earlier depending on where I get a job) and then stay up late into the night solidifying lesson plans and gathering materials?
Am I ready to have 30 (give or take) students depend on me for HOURS every day?
I am ready to be constantly worrying that I'm not doing enough?

These are the fears that enter my mind on a daily to weekly basis.

My literacy class this semester is taught by Brad Wilcox, who funnily enough has always been kind of a celebrity to me. Growing up we had a couple of his talks on tape and  I LOVED listening to them. At one point I had his talk "Saving the World One Lunch Period at a Time" memorized almost word for word! Not long after joining the El Ed program I saw him walking in the hall one day. I had no clue who he was until I heard him start talking to someone else in the hall. I recognized his voice immediately! And now, in my very last semester of classes, I get to be one of his students.

On the first day of his class, Monday after Christmas break at 8:00 am (needless to say I wasn't feeling particularly happy to be back at school...) he calmed all of my fears. He talked about how difficult it probably was for each of us to choose the path of Elementary Education (especially with all of the negative stigmas attached to it at BYU). He expressed his sympathy for the many negative reactions people give when you announce your major to a group of people. He assured us that El Ed IS a real major regardless of what people may tell us. And that just because we want to teach elementary kids, doesn't mean we can't think above an elementary level. I could relate to almost each situation he presented and found myself nodding vigorously in agreement more than once throughout the class period.

And then, without taking a beat. He calmed all of my fears. He inspired me. He motivated me and made me so excited to finally get into the classroom. This is what I want to do for my students. I thought to myself over and over again. This is what teaching really is. 

It's so easy, especially at this point in the major, to get really overwhelmed with all of the content and the core standards and the lesson planning, to get caught up in the nit-picky things. Don't get me wrong, I know those things are important too, but when I think about my favorite teachers throughout my life, I don't remember specific concepts they taught, I remember how they made me feel. Even now, just two short weeks after that first class, I can't really remember what Brother Wilcox said, I just remember I came out of that room ready to take on the world.

I know teaching will be exhausting and frustrating and challenging, and it will probably put my weaknesses out in plain sight for all the world to see. But even still,

I am so excited to be a teacher.

Pretty powerful quotes, huh?

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