What Kind of Teacher Am I?

potteryhandsBy Jessica Burkard — Who am I? is a question that we ask ourselves at several different intervals throughout our lives.

As human beings, we are constantly growing and changing in ways that range in size from slight to gianormous. We are constantly influenced by other people and more often than not, other people are the ones who kick-start the change.

When I think of the question who am I? I honestly feel pretty stable. I know who I am as an individual. I know what I love and don’t love, I know my own code of ethics, and I know what to trust and what not to trust. However, if there is one thing I have realized lately, it’s that there is one facet about my individuality that I do not know just yet.

Who am I as a teacher?

As a student teacher I feel as though I am in a constant state of change. In attempt to grow into my own teaching shoes, I try on others only to be uncomfortable with the fit. Sometimes I don’t always agree with what I am doing and what’s worse is when I am incredibly bothered by it. In my state of constant change, I find myself reacting in ways that are uncharacteristic of my individuality.

In essence, I often feel like a piece of clay being thrown onto a pottery wheel. If you’ve ever working with clay on a wheel, you know as well as I do that it’s not easy. The clay is temperamental to the spinning of the wheel and it takes a long time to make the pot look like a pot. Right now, I’m in that in-between stage where you can tell where I’m going and what I’ll look like when I’m done, but I’m not quite there yet.

That’s the key though:
understanding and accepting that I am still being shaped.

If I could give one piece of advice to any future student teacher it would be to realize it’s okay to be in a constant state of change and feel not only uncomfortable but also a bit fragile. Know that deep down you at least have a sense of what you want to be as a teacher and all you can do is strive to get as close as you can to that ideal in your mind. Strive to be that smoothed out pot on a pottery wheel and you will get close.

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