Interviewed by Carley Holm
Both undergraduate Carley and graduate student Christal share a career goal of becoming a teacher. Here, Carley asks Christal about her student teaching experience.
CH: What sparked your desire to become a teacher?
CM: ln high school I was a tutor for fellow students after school. I realized I got as much satisfaction from their mastery of a topic as they did.
CH: Top three ways teaching is meaningful to you?
CM: 1. No single day is ever the same as another. Activities, class dynamics, and classroom interactions are always different and new. 2. The families have entrusted me with the privilege of helping their children become who and what they will be “when they grow up:” 3. I am blessed to watch students become leaders among their families, peers, and communities. Hearing the self-realization and pride in their ability to affect others positively is a fulfillment of purpose for me.
CH: One thing every undergraduate should know before committing to a teaching career?
CM: True teaching is not a job–an occupation that simply pays the bills. It is a career; an all-consuming, challenging, rewarding lifestyle that will test your abilities and imbue your life with purpose and joy. You’ll wake up looking forward to what the day holds and go to sleep reliving its victories and imagining the excitement of tomorrow.
CH: Describe a teaching experience where you’ve learned something profound.
CM: I struggled with an exceedingly bright, yet extremely defiant student. Any help, instruction, or discipline was seen as a threat. One day, I’d reached the end of my patience and asked, “Do you trust me?” He answered, “Yes:’ I said, “Then please trust that I’m trying to help you:’ I realized I needed to do my utmost to convince my students that I was trustworthy. When I kept my focus on maintaining their trust, I no longer had difficulties with student attitudes, because they knew that my ultimate goal was their success.