This week in ECS 100 I had the privilege of listening to a panel of six teachers at various points in their teaching careers. They answered questions regarding their journey as a student, choosing their ultimate careers as teachers, their passion for education, and much more. The experience was really eye-opening and I hope I get another chance to hear encouragement and stories like theirs.
As someone who is in the early stages of learning sign language, I found the young panel member who was convocating in the spring to be the most interesting. She took the initiative to learn sign language, and in a conversation later with her I was able to learn some tips and tricks associated with learning the unique language and the practicalities of learning it.
I was also able to learn about each panel members’ mistakes. I find that mistakes are best when they are learned from, and admitting faults to a room of judgemental eighteen-year-olds takes a lot of guts.
Lastly, I was able to learn about the joys that come with teaching. Each teacher spoke about specific experiences they’ve had in their careers that inspired them to keep going. To hear each person talk so passionately about teaching was amazing. Sometimes I find myself over-estimating the amount of joy and reward that one gets from teaching, but listening to the panel reassured me that the career would be more than meeting my expectations.
Like all students, I have questions. Some can be answered simply, while others are more complex and can’t be answered in a single, hour-long session with the panel. My first question is about the job market. When applying to education I received a lot of discouragement because it would just be impossible to get a job afterward. How true is that statement? Will I find myself unemployed with an education degree in four years?
My next question is about getting involved in schools. What is the best approach for a student to take if they seriously want to stand out from their peers? And then how do you stay involved after and stay part of your school community?
Lastly, I’m puzzled over the push from faculty members to take whatever job I can get. I don’t understand how taking a position that could make me regret becoming a teacher would help my career in the long run?