So I knew I wanted to be a teacher. What kind of teacher I wanted to be was the hardest part of choosing my major (I changed it at least twice in my undergrad program). Did I want to teach teenagers with attitudes who think they’re the coolest thing since sliced bread? Or did I want to teach sweet, young, innocent children who had the world ahead of them and endless possibilities of roads to choose in their lives? When I put it to myself like that, of course I chose the latter.
I can’t lie, either. I thought it would be the easiest and quickest route through college and into the work world of shaping young minds. Oh how wrong I was, and not because the course “children’s literature” was particularly difficult (the entire class was reading children’s books and talking about them). The hard parts about going through college as a guy in elementary education are the differences between you and your peers. I went through with a cohort that was filled with many different personalities, and they were all women.
I liked my classmates fine, but had virtually nothing in common with them or the professors. I felt like I had been taken from the diverse world of college and dropped into Mrs. Liddy’s kindergarten classroom. I don’t kno...
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... but that didn’t matter much. Some of them could probably out curse that uncle you have that you only see at mandatory family gatherings. I had to find interesting ways to keep them in control, but the best way is to keep their attention is to keep their attention. I’ve studied and read many publications on classroom management, but nothing works better than being entertaining. If you can entertain them, you’ll have their attention. If you don’t, you’re going to struggle. Think of the most boring teachers you’ve had. Chances are, the biggest memory you have of them is that they were boring.
My college experience wasn’t perfect, and my attitude didn’t help it much in the beginning, but I learned a lot about my personality, personal strengths and weakness, and my student teaching practicum helped prepare me tremendously in what would eventually become my career.
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