By Pam Walker
English Content Manager
The following is an article I wrote for the school newspaper when I taught AP Language and Composition at Wetumpka High School. Although I have transitioned out of the classroom, the content of this article remains my advice to those pursuing degrees in the field of education.
Working in the field of education proves daily to be a challenge. If your career goal is to become an educator, there are a few things you must consider. Are you willing to work twenty-four/seven? Are you willing to give up all other personas to embrace the one called teacher? I can assure you, after twenty-two years in this profession, it is a never-ending and all-consuming job. But it’s worth it. Every minute of the job is worth your effort, even the difficult moments. Why? Because it fulfills a person to be able to influence others positively – and that’s what teaching is: the opportunity to influence students and be influenced by them. As frustrated as I get sometimes with the world of education, I still wouldn’t trade one single second of my career for anything else. So, what’s my advice for prospective educators? It’s simple:
- Pray: for guidance, wisdom, for your future students, and for yourself
- Pursue: pursue the choice with all the passion you have. Shadow folks in the profession and ask lots of questions. Be informed. Work hard to get there and even harder once you enter your own classroom. Never stop pursuing knowledge or a better you.
- Perform: give your best show every day. The classroom will become your stage – give it your all. Take it seriously; others’ lives are in your care.
- Pause: periodically assess how things are going. You will know pretty quickly if the job isn’t for you. If it isn’t, don’t hang around. Move on to something you can love. Everyone should love what they do, so don’t be afraid to move on if necessary.
- Prioritize: as important a job choice as this one is, it is still a JOB. Don’t let it take priority over your family or personal life.
- Persevere: if teaching IS right for you, you will know it. But you will need patience and a strong will to survive. It WILL be hard, but it WILL be worth it. Aside from parenthood, I can think of no greater endeavor.
Should you choose to join me on this journey, I wish you the best!