Friday, April 1, 2016

Expectations vs Reality – A Changed Mindset

Brandon Whitmyre

I have learned many lessons in college but I think the most important one is that your expectations are almost never what reality is.  Coming into college I knew that I wanted to be a civil engineer, I was sure of it and that was what I wanted to do.  But my third semester into it I realized that that wasn’t at all what I wanted to do because the reality of the job is not what I expected.  Even though I was told what the job would be and it sounded good at the time it wasn’t right for me.  After I learned this lesson I knew that it would also change my approach to teaching.

In class we are always being told how teaching is going to be and what to expect but regardless of how much we are told we won’t be ready for the real work.  We will be very well prepared and know how to teach the material and how to prepare lessons but until we actually have that class in front of us and they are OUR students we won’t know the reality.  Now understanding this concept will help keep us from getting stressed our first year because if teaching isn’t exactly what we expect (which it won’t be) we won’t panic, we will adapt and put in the extra effort because that is our job as teachers.  Student teaching is the best way to really understand what teaching will be like, but even then there are other teachers and they aren’t completely “our” students.  Understanding this concept has helped me when I get stress and will help when it comes time to actually teach.

Going along with this is the idea of constantly adapting.  As technology is constantly changing we need to change along with it to teach to the best of our ability.  More than anything this requires an open mind, I’m sure everyone reading this can think of a teacher who has been teaching the same way for their whole career.  But we owe it to the students to change in order to help them get the best education that they possibly can.  This usually means more work for us but that’s the job. 

“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t know it well enough” – Albert Einstein