Dear Ms. Nixson,
So you made it. You passed all the tests, you completed all the required student teaching, and now you sit, the entirety of your career before you. I suspect you’re nervous. I suspect you feel ill-prepared as you always do when starting something new, but I hope this anxiety will not make you forget that you are an incredibly determined and capable teacher. Every task you have ever faced, and will ever face requires some degree of adaptability. When you come to confront adversities you will struggle, adapt, and persist. As you evolve as a teacher to meet the needs and challenges of your classroom, you must hold fast to your predetermined goals and standards of education. The poses you decide to take will define your identity and standards as a teacher, and the success of your students.
Your first pose should be something important, something to really set the standards for your career as an educator. Your first pose will be teaching English in a relatable, engaging, and creative way. This is easier said than done. It’s not very difficult to say you will be relatable, engaging, and creative, but actually achieving these things takes more effort than you will imagine. You will wobble in your endeavors, given the vagueness of your goal, so you should probably become more specific with each passing day. You can decide a goal for each class period that will work towards becoming the teacher you wish to be. Test out multiple activities to gage the interests and needs of your students. You will most likely face some resistance from your students if you do not execute the relatable aspect effectively. Students usually disregard a teacher’s attempts at creative engaging activities, if they are not tailored to the specific identities of the students.
The second pose you will take will be advocate for students who need you, whether it is due to their individual circumstances or broader issues. You must advocate for their education, even if it means going beyond your comfort zone to supply them each with an equal opportunity for an education. You remember when you were in middle school and were having troubles when you had just switched schools. You had just moved from Texas to Colorado and your whole world was turned upside down. You understand how difficult it can be to find your place in the social context of school. Remember to advocate for students socially, intellectually, and emotionally especially when they cannot recognize that there is a problem. Help them to thrive in your classroom and overcome any adversities they face. You may have trouble acquiring sufficient resources or support for the issues you address, but you need to persevere for the sake of your students.
Another pose you will take is a teacher of innovation. For your classroom to be unique and successful, in a way that enthralls your students, you will try new activities and methods based on research studies so that your kids will receive the most up to date, complete education available. This pose may face adversities from the traditional mindsets of teaching, but will ultimately prevail if the innovations are sound. In this pose you will struggle with the balance of research and time proven methods with more innovative methods that have less applied experience behind them. In this aspect you will have to use your discretion to decide if the method works with the unique needs of your classroom, or if it works in practice at all. Your first priority is the education of the students, even above your desire for innovative methods to succeed. The students might wobble in these new methods, if they are not what they are used to, but give ample time for them to get accustomed with the change before you discredit it entirely as ineffective. This pose has a special demand for adaptability as you test what works and what doesn’t, or if it is the best for your students.
The last pose you must take is one you might feel uncomfortable taking. This is the pose of teacher as challenger. Students must be adequately challenged to expand their knowledge. This might be difficult at times when the students face challenges that they don’t believe they are ready for. You shouldn’t challenge them beyond what you think they can handle, but just enough so that they learn new things and feel great pride in their accomplishments. You remember what it was like in your eighth grade class when the teacher didn’t challenge you at all, how bored you were and how useless you felt. Challenge is a very important contributor to the level of engagement a class feels with the material. Your students will definitely wobble when faced with the challenges you craft for them, but it is all part of the process of growth and expansion of knowledge.
These poses will all present some form of wobble for you to recover from. It’s all a part of the learning experience for both you and your students. You must try new things and struggle time and again to improve your classroom and the educational experience of your students so that you can successfully reach a state of flow where you are optimizing the impact of your education, experience, passion, and innovation to interact with the budding young minds of the next generation. It is a great responsibility to be able to direct the minds of the future on their path towards a future world which depends heavily on the upbringings and knowledge they possess. Never underestimate the impact you have on the future and the responsibility you carry for it. You are an educator and your drive to expand both your abilities and the abilities of your students is incredibly important to this world. You have been preparing for this day, for this career, for your whole life. The time you have spent working towards this day amounts to countless hours of studying, observing, student teaching, and preparing, and now you are ready. Good luck.
Your past self