I have dedicated two years of my Vanderbilt education to the profession of teaching. One would think I’d feel more confident, more assured, and more ready. I know I have the tools, I have the knowledge, but something about a classroom full of middle school students scares me more than anything I’ve experienced thus far. The funny part though, is that this fear is masked by an intense excitement also unlike anything I know. The closest thing I can compare it to is a new ride at an amusement park; you’ve never been on the terrifying rollercoaster before and your mind races as you peer up at the twists and turns, but overpowering these thoughts is your racing heart, full of excitement and anticipation.I think Breakthrough teaching will be the most difficult thing I have ever attempted; it will be jumping into my chosen career two years earlier than I ever thought would happen. It’s a challenge, but a welcome and exciting challenge. I will be able to test out everything I’ve learned this far, evaluate the lectures, practicum experiences and discussions from the past two years, keeping what works and revising what isn’t working.
I hope the learning from this summer is two-fold. Obviously I want my students to come away from the summer with a better understanding of science (hopefully that I taught them!), and I want to take from this summer techniques and approaches to education that aren’t being taught at Vanderbilt. More than this though, I hope to build relationships with my students and peers, connections that will be lasting and meaningful. I think these relationships have to precede the truly important learning. My goal is for my students this summer to use me as a resource throughout the rest of their educational careers in whatever capacity my help would be beneficial.
So despite being nervous, I am so anxious and excited for June 14th to come along and this summer to begin!
Meet your Colleagues: Laura in San Juan Capistrano