An Open Letter to the Future Teachers

An Open Letter to the Future Teachers

I hope you're not just doing this for the summer break.
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So you're majoring in education. Whether it's elementary education or high school English, you've got an important job to do.

Teaching is a calling. It is not a job to be taken lightly, and it most certainly is not a backup plan. Teachers have to passionate enough about their students to stick it out. This is not an easy job, nor is it a job that deserves to be neglected in the eyes of the world. Teachers work hard. Teachers are not paid near enough for the work they do, and that's why you have to be passionate. That's why you have to be called.

Teaching is hard work. It comes with paperwork, grading, lesson plans, and a lot of "adopted" children. Teaching is not an 8am-3pm job. Teachers take their work with them everywhere they go. Whether it's grading papers on a Saturday night or waking up fifteen minutes earlier to get to the printer first that morning. Sometimes it's about that work the students don't see. It's not standing in front of a board teaching multiplication tables or the scientific method. It's a lot more than that.

Teaching is not about you. It will never be about you. This job is about pure selflessness and sacrifice for the care of your students. There are days you won't always be able to reach out to your students. There are days you have to be quiet about what you believe. There are days you won't be able to care for your students as much as you want to. There are going to be kids you can't stand and kids you can't stand to see leave. There will be days you hate your job and days you love it, but the bad days make the good ones that much sweeter.

Teaching has the ability to change lives. Some of you are becoming teachers because of the influence some of your teachers had on you. The simple truth is that teachers impact the world every day. Yes, teachers will teach the future doctors, engineers, and CEOs, but it's always going to be a lot more than that. Teaching is a ministry. It's a job solely based on attitude and actions. It's a job where sometimes it may not feel as if you are able to have those bad days.

It takes a tough person to be a teacher. It takes somebody kind and compassionate, so children are able to feel taken care of. It takes somebody stern and punctual, so children aren't able to walk all over you. It takes somebody called, so people know you're in it for the long haul. The simple truth is, there are kids that are going to need you and kids that won't. There are kids you'll share your heart with and others just your knowledge, but both types of kids are important, and both types of students need a teacher like you.

It's not going to be easy, but I think one day, you'll look back and see all of the students you had, some of whom you still keep up with, some of whom changed your perspective, some of whom made it worth it, and you'll know why you were called. You'll understand that this profession is hard and draining, but you'll understand the importance of why you were called. There is no other teacher like you, and I know your future students can't wait to meet you.

*In the picture of this article is none other than my high school Math teacher, Mrs. Jones. She is kind, funny, and took real good care of me throughout my high school experience. She's a teacher who makes the impact, and a teacher who makes me want to do the same for my future students. Thank you, Mama Jones, for truly being the best. I love you!*

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

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Don't Be Afraid of Changing Your College Plan

It really isn't THAT bad...

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I can't claim to have any deep wisdom on life, but I at least have some good experience with a highly turbulent college career. I started as a game design major in a tech college in Rochester, NY, transferred to a college in Texas, and now I'm an English major at CofC.

My college life has been something of a roller coaster.

But I regret none of it. Maybe it would have been easier to stick to the track I was on initially, but I would never have been fully satisfied with it. Now I've finally found my place and, even though it may have taken a lot of shifting around, it was undoubtedly worthwhile.

I don't mean to say that everyone who is slightly dissatisfied with their major should transfer all over the country and change their major(I had to sacrifice the ability to get a minor because of the path I took, so I wouldn't recommend it to most people). I just believe that if you find yourself not liking the classes that are vital to your major or if you can't find a place at your current college, then changing your major or transferring isn't as horrible as you might imagine.

When I started college I was completely confident in what I wanted to do and what my future would look like. I thought it would be ridiculous for someone to stray from their initial path. That idea led to me deciding to transfer later than was smart.

I think everyone should know that having to change your plans for the future, sometimes in dramatic ways, isn't a bad thing. No matter how scary transferring and changing majors can seem, many people have done it before you and many will after, you aren't alone.

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