The Teachers College Dilemma


Ana-Maria Jerca, Staff Writer

Everybody who has been accepted to the Bachelor of Education program has undergone the same scrutiny: "Why do you want to be a teacher?" We all know what not to answer and many of us frown upon the myth that teachers only work 6 hours a day for 10 months of the year.

We know teachers don't have it as easy as others may think. From experience, we know that teachers are among the professionals who constantly take their work home with them; who mark and plan until the wee hours of the morning; who call and meet with parents out of genuine concern; who get an hour for lunch but five minutes to eat because there are not enough hours in the day to do everything associated with their job.

Our work is not just a profession; it is a vocation.

It is a dedication to expanding young minds and creating not only better students, but better human beings as a whole. That is what teachers subscribe to. But what do teacher candidates really subscribe to?

Unfortunately, we sign up for thirty credits that break down our ingenuity and optimism. We go in hopeful and eager to change lives, yet over the course of the program, we become jaded, hateful, and resentful of the profession we once adored. This is because we are disproportionately discouraged.

Rarely are we given anecdotes about how teachers have inspired students and changed lives for the better. Hardly do we speak about the profound effect we will have on our students both while they are in our class and for years after they leave.

Instead, in class, we are constantly being reminded of the fact that there aren't going to be any jobs for us. We have speakers come talk about being part-time servers to supplement their supply teacher income. We are told by union representatives that asking our students about their hobbies spawns the basis of favouritism and must be avoided.

We aren't trying to favour anyone; we only ask to incorporate their interests into our lessons and make their learning fun.

We are advised about what to do when a student comes crying to us about the death of a parent: we do not hug them. We do not bend the rules against physical contact. We do not show them the universal sign of human sympathy. We do not do what our favourite, most influential teacher would have done for us in our time of need.

It all comes down to this: if thirty credits doesn’t break you down, be a teacher candidate. If you can still go to your placement with a smile on your face, devoted as always to changing young lives, then be a teacher candidate. Just know that you are a superhero because you survived:

All because you were born to be a teacher. But we’re not all born to be teacher candidates.

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