There are so many aspects of our lives that make up who we are. Past mistakes, current events, and future aspirations all contribute to who we are. What exactly lies within those ambiguous statements? Everything from your race, religion, and even occupation. As a pre-service teacher I have thought long and hard about my identity as a teacher, but never did I consider it to be so multi-dimensional before.
I learned that the act of transitioning from student to teacher does not look the same for everyone. The feelings that are often brought up by teachers are anxiety, ambiguity, and even control issues. These feelings are not pretty and by no means encompass the entire pre-service experience, but the feelings are similar in many drastic life transitions.
I also learned that within the teaching community comes a discourse. This is a type of work culture that pre-service teachers must learn to navigate. This is everything from the language used in the staff room to the silent expectations of student behaviour. Discourse is in every work place, but in teaching the cost of such culture sometimes ignores student and teacher needs.
Discourse describes a normal. These expectation encourages teachers not to stray from the norm.
This discussion held student teachers at the heart of it all, and as a pre-service teacher myself I found that I was already asking myself these important questions. I was able to connect easily to the fear and uncertainty because I face those challenges myself.
I also connected to the idea of discourse. Fortunately, I attend a university that puts student teachers in the classroom in the very first year. It is in the staffroom that I encounter an entirely different ecosystem that feels like I’m on another planet.
I fear that in my practice I may stray from the norm, and so I often wonder how far I can stray from the teacher ideals?