Student Teaching Blues

So, I’m a sophomore at the University of South Carolina’s College of Education which means I get to go to a whole lot of elementary and middle schools in the area! (Fun, right?) They like us to start going a couple hours a week to just get our feet wet and see how we like being back in a grade school environment. This past semester I was at four different schools. That’s a lot of students I get to interact with. And much like teachers, us student teachers, have our favorites and our not so favorites.

I went to a title one school here in Columbia and was mortified by the students behaviors that I witnessed. Given that the school is 94% free/reduced lunch it is a high poverty area I didn’t expect to be fascinated with it. However, I was not ready for what I saw.

For starters, when I sat down in the classroom I watched some kids and they were crushing chex cereal on their desks while the teacher was trying to teach. The teacher seemed so unaware of what her class was doing and I honestly don’t know how.  There was a couple of kids who were appeared to be asleep on their desks and multiple children standing up wandering the room. Any minute the teacher was even remotely not paying attention, there would be one student who was talking about shooting people and robbing stores. Honestly, I was just tired watching the teacher try to manage her classroom. OH, did I mention this is SECOND GRADE. Yes, second graders talking about shooting people and robbing stores. I can’t even, y’all.

So all of that story just to say this, I am scared. I am terrified that in two years that teacher will be me. Ready to throw the towel in because my kids are out of control. I am terrified that I will fail my students. I am scared that I won’t be enough.

BUT, here’s what I rest in. When I applied to colleges, I was a pre-law major. I prayed over this decision because I was so uneasy and the Lord blessed me with an opportunity to sub in a second-grade class back at home where I fell in love with being an educator. I know that this is my calling in life. I know that with hard work, support, and trusting in the Lord that I will go into my first year of teaching strong and eager to pour into my kiddos and make a difference one child at a time. Do I doubt myself? Of course, I do. Who doesn’t? But I refuse to let that stop me from following my dream.