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I'm scared I won't be a good teacher..

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Seeking the advice of any early childhood teachers/educators on this board.

I'm halfway through my University degree to become an Early Childhood Educator and it has come to the point where I have to do a 3 week work placement at a school. I'm absolutely terrified of being put in a classroom to educate young minds. Has anyone been in my situation before, and if so, what advice do you have for me?
Or, does anyone have any fond memories of their childhood teachers, what made them inspire you to learn?
I want to be a good teacher, please help!
Secondary ed here, in literally the exact same position. My placement will be starting in a couple weeks, and I'm scared too.

To be honest, what I've been told, everyone goes through this. Hell, I partially went through this already. When I started college, I was an elementary ed major. I went in for a "field", which wasn't really a field but whatever, I taught preschool.
That was my wake up call of "I like kids, but fuck I don't like kids 8 hours a day". I was exhausted and had that same panic you're having. What if I can't do this, what if I'm going to hate this? Then I switched into secondary and got a bit of my confidence back.
But yeah, I'm nervous about going into a high school classroom for the first time, and actually teaching.

Idk how your university does it, but mine gives us baby steps. I'm not teaching alone, I've got a cooperating teacher who I'm mostly observing and occasionally teaching a lesson under her guidance. I'm assuming your placement isn't completely throwing you to the wolves. Do you have a cooperating teacher?
USE THEM. If you have any questions at all, need any help at all, ask them anything. They were in your shoes once too. They won't let you fuck up their students after all lol.
Out of curiosity, what state are you in? (assuming you're even in the us at all?)
I ask because I'm in Missouri, and the state's education department has been an absolute clusterfuck of change in regulations and crap for the past 3 years lol. Idk what it's like in any other state, if perhaps things are a little less chaotic.
>does anyone have any fond memories of their childhood teachers, what made them inspire you to learn

I certainly do! how young are we talking?
Thanks for your reply! I actually work at a preschool now, I do 8 hour days there, 6 days a week - at times it's exhausting but I do love it. The placement that I have coming up is for ages 6-8, so an older age group then what I'm currently dealing with.

It's nice to know that there are people out there who feel the same fear that I do, I thought I was alone. The first week of my placement is observing my class/educator, 2nd week I'll be teaching small groups/lessons and 3rd week I'll be running whole classes on my own. So it's definitely a slow build up, still scary though!

Good luck with everything anon, I'm sure you'll be a fantastic and inspiring educator!

I'm actually from Australia, not the US. Sorry to hear it's so crazy in your part of the world!!

Please share! I'd be teaching up to age 8, but any memories or insight is greatly appreciated.
Oops, meant to say that I work 5 days a week, not 6.
>Early Childhood Educator

Glorified babysitter.

My favorite teacher was Mr. Doheny. He was always very nice to me and taught me and lot on penis inspection day.
Hah well there you go. It's perfectly normal to be nervous. Hell, every time I had to teach a lesson at that preschool I was sweating bullets. Let me tell you, the worst day of my life was still when my lesson totally flopped and none of the kids were having any of it. I almost cried with them.
The teacher I was working under was totally good to me though. She pulled me aside and told me she's been teaching for 10 years, and every now and then even she still gets a lesson that totally flops like that. It happens, and it sucks, but you gotta pick yourself up and keep going for the kids sake.
Even though we're in totally different countries, I'm fairly certain this is a pretty universal thing. It's always scary to do something the first time. As I said, definitely lean on your cooperating teacher as much as you can, they're an elementary teacher after all. Comes with the territory to have patience lmao.
>Secretly why I'm more nervous going into high school than I was preschool.
Man I had high school teachers who didn't even have a shred of patience lol.

Well, disregard that bit about Missouri then lol. Hard part about teaching in America is literally all 50 states have their own regulations and ideas of what needs to be taught and how. And when they decide to change something, it fucks the newbies and college grads up the hardest. I just had unfortunate timing lol.
>Responding to a troll
I know I shouldn't but I do want to say this:
Honestly, I used to think the same thing until I went into it.
Part of the reason I switched from elementary to high school is because the elementary degree would have taken 6 years to finish, whereas the high school takes 4.
If you think about it, it's easier to teach older children because they already have the foundations. It's so much harder to teach young kids because they literally are a blank slate. They know nothing. You have to work down to the smallest building blocks and explain every little thing to the smallest detail.
It was just so hard teaching preschool because I was constantly reminded that shit I took for granted as common knowledge was lost upon them. Hell, my lesson that flopped was a lesson on animals and where they came from in the world. My 2-3 year olds had no concept of maps at that point, or that there was a whole world outside the US, some even didn't quite grasp there was a world outside their own hometown.
They didn't know what other countries looked like on a map, or any idea of how far they were.

Hell one kid asked how old my mom was once, and when I told them my mom was 50, they had no idea how old that was. I think I eventually phrased it as "Count to ten 5 times, and that's how old my mommy is".
I still don't think they got it. Teaching young kids is hard lol.
>up to age 8
Uh I have no memories of math (which is what I'm doing in grad school), but I remember watching batman the animated series in class. Also the first time I heard the concept of eating pussy was in kindergarten, when my teacher was flirting with another man. Also she peed with toilet door open.

About inspiration to learn, it was a physics teacher in high school, I still remember his first lesson, that day we all bought our physics textbook, he opened with "Yeah let's forget about physics, today we learn about limit of a sequence".... after the first week, most of us were familiar with derivatives of elementary functions, after the second week, we know anti-derivative and the fundamental theorem of calculus. At the end of the first month, we proved the planetary orbit under inverse square law is a conic curve through a clever change of coordinate.
He ended the "introduction to physics" half of the course with a remark, "that, is the power of mathematics, it translates complex ideas that took humanity 1700 years and countless pages of treatises to understand into one short paragraph", as he demonstrated by flipping the hundred pages of Newton's Principia. That was very awe inspiring to a 15 yo. Of course as an adult you should have no illusion to teach kids to actually understand Principia, just to make them feel cool that we arrived at the same result as Newton did using a powerful modern tool, the path Newton himself used back then was actually extremely sophisticated, that only a professional mathematician today might be able to decipher.
And then we entered the second half, Classical Mechanics, where, of course, we learned Physics :)
What this anecdote means is that the outlook of the teacher influences his students greatly and in this case it caused a deep-rooted belief that theoretical physics is just pure math made for people who doesn't care about rigour of mathematical argument. Such view would get a 15 year old very far.
This was so great to read, exactly what I had to hear. The thing I'm most afraid of is not having a presence, I want to be able to walk into that classroom and k ow that these kids will want to be there and will want to hear what I have to say.
I think i'd have the same reaction if my lesson flopped, that's up there with my worries for what will happen.

I have huge respect that you're going for high school. I wanted to be a high school teacher but I remember what a little shit I was to be poor teachers and the thought of having to control a bunch of hormonal kids is something my mind could not deal with, lol. A friend of mine is a high school teacher and she says that it's such a joy once you finally find your feet. I appreciate all the time you've taken to respond to me I'm feeling so much better about getting into the classroom now!
Best of luck :)
You have no experience whatsoever?

I've been working as an instructional aide for about 4 years now, mostly with kids with autism. But I am going to school for preschool special education. Particularly early intervention autism.

In my job though, I do work with general education kids. For one year, I worked with general ed children with learning disabilities.

I want to say. probably, the first 6 months of my job was absolutely terrifying.

First thing you always need to do with a new class is establish that teacher/student rapport. In which the children like you, but also will listen to you and see you as an authority figure.

You can do this through age appropriate icebreaker games. Don't be afraid to be appropriately funny or goofy with small children. But also set limits on the goofiness.

I take a lot from my personal kindergarten teacher. She was actually kind of strict, but she enforced rules in a hilarious way that got the whole class involved. For example, she used silly voices when enforcing rules. She primed us behaviorally. Priming is when you talk about behavioral expectations before engaging in the activity. She would say things like, "Okay do we.... *silly voice and reenactment* run across the blacktop like wild animals?....(kids would laugh and shake their heads no) or do we walk until we get to the playground? (all the kids would say yes)"

When kids misbehaved, she got quite, not loud. She always used differentials. Verbally praised kids doing the right thing, since small children are pleasers, they also want that praise and will listen.

She just had a way of keeping control of a bunch of crazy 5 year olds while making everything fun.

I just feel like nothing can happen until you have established rapport with your students. No matter what age.
lol I know you are just being honest, but reading this doesn't help OP at all
I know OP's work is very important but I just can't help it, in my case most of my memories before age 8 were sexual.
Thanks for your reply!

I do have experience, I've been working as an teachers aide in a preschool for 6 months now.
Your reply was really awesome to read, I definitely agree with building a rapport - without it you won't be going far. I think this is what I am most nervous about, although my experience at the preschool has definitely boosted my confidence. Your anecdote about your kindergarten teacher makes a lot of sense, I've observed the teachers at the preschool using similar techniques and it never fails. Finger crossed that I can do that same.

Also, congrats for doing such great work anon. It takes a very dedicated person to be able to work in special education; I've been interested in pursuing it myself for a while now. I have so much respect for people that do the work that you do.
Thanks for your insight!
This was a strange response to read but I appreciate it anyway. I totally understand what you're saying, even though you had an interesting way of conveying it
strange how?
The sexual connotations, mixed in with a long drawn out anecdote
It's probably not that hard to understand once you read the thread. OP literally asked me to
>Please share! I'd be teaching up to age 8, but any memories or insight is greatly appreciated.
So I shared my before age 8 memories
>fond memories of their childhood teachers, what made them inspire you to learn
So I shared my high school memory

I have no intention of wasting my time on anons. And it's like two sentences longer than the post above.
The sexual "connotations" are few of my earliest sexual memories, and because they are sexual, they are much easier to remember (biological imprint) than whatever taught in grade school classes or whoever taught them, unless of course they are sexual.
>teaching 2-3 year olds

That is completely useless and pointless. That literally is being a glorified baby sitter. At that age kids don't need form instruction because there is still a crap ton they can learn from experiences with their parents. It's quite frankly a waste of money and a sign of lazy parenting.

Also, teaching high school students is harder because they have so much going on with their life and are in that age where they are rejecting anything resembling a figure of authority. Meanwhile little kids practically worship you as a god. Here, they want you to have a masters degree (6 years) if you want to teach college level courses at the high school level.
I really want to share something relevant that might help you with your job, I think it's a very adorable profession for a woman, but regrettably I cannot (aside from the fact that if you say or do something sexual in front of a 5 years old he might forget temporarily few years later but there will be a point when that image comeback to his mind)
I'm a teacher aide with basically no related experience prior. It's scary at first, it's overwhelming. You feel like you'll never be able to remember other people's names. You'll look at teachers and wonder how they manage to do it (maybe this part will be a little different for you since you've had actual training). Things get easier as you go though.

I think it's the same for everyone. I've been working here for two years now. I've been here when new employees with no experience joined and they were as lost as I was at first.
Only work with white kids, its not a joke. You'll live life working with people who actually have dreams.
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