I suppose there are more than just a few token occupations on the list of what most kids want to be when they grow up. These dreams change often over the course of our most imaginative years, but among the wanna-be ballerinas, veterinarians, and presidents, are countless "someday" teachers. That was never the case for me. Sure, I dabbled in special ed for awhile, but even then my aspirations revolved mostly around developmental therapy and aide work. I have just never had the desire to stand in front of a classroom and instill knowledge. That's probably because it terrifies me, just a little bit.
From time to time, I am called upon to substitute for the English classes at our middle school when my colleague is sick or away for a conference or training. Those sporadic days are enough to send me into a nervous wreck. As of right now, however, I am into my second (only? Sheesh) week of full-time teaching for all of the 7th and 8th grade English classes as my school, because my colleague is away on sick leave (possibly until further notice).
I wish I could say I loved the opportunity to meet new kids in the school and recruit for our after school programming, but the truth is, I'm not meant to be a teacher, and by the time I teach three to six classes during the day, I'm so worn out that I'm not very effective afterschool.
The beginning of last week was horrible. I was finding myself in some very uncomfortable positions with some of the older boys. The problem was that I was teaching in the annex classroom where my NGO is housed. It is behind the school in a completely separate entrance, so when older boys cut class, they were lurking around or IN my classroom, and I was incapable of handling these situations on my own. I was also constantly nervous and self-conscious. NOT a good recipe for success as a substitute teacher.
Those issues are resolved now, as I have moved inside the school to the third floor. I switched classrooms with another colleague, so in addition to plenty of foot traffic and other teachers in close proximity, most of the older kids in the school don't even know where I am. So, while I wouldn't say I am comfortable in my new role, I am definitely less nervous. :)
And, to be honest, ALMOST ;) enjoying some classes.