Flash back to my freshman year of college, second day of classes. I walked into my first ever education class with a mixture of excitement and trepidation. Introductions were made, syllabi were handed out and class expectations were outlined.
After going through what the class was entailed, we then went over what it meant to be an education major. I sat there and grew increasingly terrified by the minute. There are a LOT of requirements that have to be met in order to get a teaching license. Classes must be taken, observation hours must be obtained…don’t even get me started on student teaching and the edTPA. It was extremely overwhelming for poor little freshman me.
Education is one of those majors that tends to scare people. Almost every semester, there are freshmen who change majors within a week of seeing what it takes to become a teacher. This is especially true when it comes to music education. No one expects it to be so much work; after all, high schoolers don’t realize how much goes into the art of teaching!
Even I thought about changing majors for a short time. I didn’t want to have to jump through all of the hoops and do all of things I was being told I had to do. It looked awful. But I decided to stick with it, no matter the amount of work it took.
It’s been three years. How do I feel about it now?
I can tell you this: I don’t regret it. Yes, it has definitely been a lot of work. I’ve been able to do it, though. Sure, I haven’t done the truly tough stuff yet, but I’m sure I’ll get through it just as I’ve done with everything else. Persistence and hard work have been the keys to my success thus far in the education program. These things have only gotten me this far, though, because this is what I’ve chosen to do with my life after long deliberation.
This article goes out to all of the college freshmen who are starting school as education majors. You need to think long and hard about whether or not this is the career for you. It may not be and that's okay. God doesn’t call everyone to the demanding profession of teaching. If it is, though, then I offer you this advice: stick with it. Persevere. It may seem impossible at first, but it’s not.
Don’t take teaching lightly, either. You’re going to need all the skills you can get when you go out into the world to teach a bunch of rowdy children. You’ve got to know both your content and how to teach it if you want to effectively teach the next generation of kids. You’ll need to find your voice as a teacher and figure out how you can use it to enhance your teaching.
Don’t give up. If this is the profession to which you’ve been called, you’ll make it through. The work will be long, but it will pass. And then, perhaps, you can become a person who shapes the next generation just as our teachers have positively shaped us to become the future leaders we have been called to be.