So You Want to be a Teacher

Last night, I got the email telling me that I was accepted into the Masters and Certification in Elementary Education program at the University of Michigan. This is really, really exciting for me, because my dream job is to be a teacher at a Catholic elementary school.

In many ways, I think I relate to kids better than I relate to most adults. Children are curious and inquisitive; they love to ask questions and learn new things (when they enjoy what they’re learning). They are also imaginative, and aren’t afraid to get excited and be passionate about the things they love.

Most of my experience working with kids has been as a teacher figure. In high school, I helped to teach young children how to Irish dance. Teaching that beginner class was incredibly rewarding; I remember trying to make fun analogies to teach them how to do certain moves. I also was an English tutor for some middle school students, and did my best to make learning grammar as fun as my dad did for me when I was homeschooled. My most recent experience working with elementary and middle school aged kids was Vacation Bible School last summer. I was assigned to be Team Leader for the 5th and 6th graders, and I was nervous because I hadn’t worked with this specific age group before. It was so much better than I had feared. The 5th graders were old enough to grasp bigger concepts and have deeper conversations, but still young enough to enjoy participating in VBS. Some of the 6th graders had gotten into the “I’m too cool to do that baby stuff” stage, but they were all very well behaved.

Most people’s reactions, when I tell them I want to be a teacher, is concern: aren’t I afraid that I won’t be able to find a job? Well, no, not really. I may not find a position at a Catholic school right away, but there are so many elementary schools across the U.S. that I’m sure I’ll find a place for myself. Even in Michigan, I’m sure there’s an opening somewhere. Besides, if this is what God has planned for me, He’s going to make it work.

I’m very excited – and nervous – to start graduate school. It’s a super challenging program, and I’ve never taught in a classroom setting before, so this will all be very new for me. Please pray for me!

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