Dear Future Student,
I'm not even sure where to start. I am so incredibly excited to meet you! I want to know all about you--what you love, what you hate, what you want to be when you grow up, and even your favorite color. I realize there are still a couple more years before we meet, but in the meantime I'm doing absolutely everything I can to prepare for my time with you.
This probably isn't something you want to hear from your future teacher, but school is so hard. Literally everyday I want to stay home and sleep instead. Very responsible, right? The older you get the harder it becomes. Classes become more complex, assignments are more in depth and time consuming, and you are pretty much confused about everything. I've learned that really all you need to know in school is one important thing: where you want to go. The rest will fall into place. I, for instance, want to get to you and all of the rest of my future students. I don't know the first thing about a lot of things. Sometimes I wing it in class (I don't recommend you do this), sometimes I get lost on campus, sometimes I watch Netflix instead, sometimes I forget my homework, and sometimes what my professors are saying goes right over my head. But I know that my place is in a classroom teaching students just like you. So, I will do whatever it takes to get there. I want so badly to teach you all of the things I've learned. I want so badly to teach you to push yourself to get where you want to be. I want so badly to watch your mind blossom within the year I'll spend with you. And above all, I want so badly to impact your life in the same way some of my teachers have impacted mine.
As I sit typing this to you in the Miller Learning Center at the University of Georgia, I am faced with the realization of how far I have come. I was in school for 12 whole years before I made it to this ridiculously amazing university. I'm sure 12 years seems like an eternity to you right now, and sometimes it felt that way for me, but now, I only have a little over 2 years until I finally reach my overall goal. If I can make it, you definitely can, too.
I'm taking my very first education class this semester, and I'm surprised with how difficult I'm finding it to agree with some of the material. We are discussing race, gender, religion, and ethics. What is right? What is wrong? What can you say? What can't you say? Educators walk a very fine line when it comes to such controversial topics. It's hard to determine what is and isn't okay when our world today is so complex. All I know is that I will love each and every one of you. Despite your race, religion, gender, likes, dislikes, fears, hobbies, I will treat you all as the unique and special students you all will be. I hope you come to my class and immediately feel safe and comfortable in your own skin. You never need to change anything about yourself to be accepted or to feel "normal".
While I realize I still have so much to learn before I'm qualified to teach you, I have also decided that despite of what is going on currently or in the future, I will never change my policy for equality and love in the classroom.
Although it may seem like your teachers don't understand the first thing about you and live on a completely different planet sometimes, I promise to try and understand you in the best way that I can. I promise to understand that not every student is outgoing and outspoken in the classroom. I won't penalize you for being quiet as long as you're paying attention. I promise to understand that sometimes you have bad days--your parents are mad, your siblings are mean, or maybe your blue Gatorade spilled all over your white shirt and it's picture day--whatever the matter may be I'll try to talk you through it. I promise to understand that school can get repetitive; I need to make it interesting with games, movies, songs, and occasionally candy prizes. I promise to understand that making friends is hard and sometimes kids your age are mean. I will always have your back. I promise to understand that once you have friends, all you want to do is talk to them. I'll make you a deal: if you can be quiet while I'm talking, I'll make time for you to talk later. I promise to understand that everyone learns differently. I'll do my best to provide you with options and help to make learning a breeze. I promise to understand that as an adult I am lame. We can have an unspoken agreement that I'm actually the coolest ever and you actually think my jokes are hilarious. I promise to understand that every student's home life is different. If you need to talk my door is always open to you, just don't let it affect your education. You have the potential to do whatever you want to do in life. You will have the opportunity to take your life in whatever direction you please. I promise to help you reach your full potential.
I promise to stay focused and work hard so that in a few years we can have the best time together. Hang in there and do your best. I know that ultimately my job will be to help you and motivate you to reach your goals, but for now, you are motivating me to reach mine.
Much love, Your hopeful and determined teacher in training