Aug 11 / Daniel Wright

Maybe I'm Just Not Good Enough...

Maybe I am just not good enough to be a teacher…

I have felt that before and it nearly took me down a different path. In college there was a class that was deemed a “turning point”. This class would either make you or break you. Those who passed were destined to be a rock star. Those who failed would never make it to the next step and if they somehow made it would be that teacher that parents requested their child to not have.  
I worked as hard as possible for the entire semester. The skills I needed I just couldn’t reach a mastery level. I worked at my best level. I turned in every assignment. I saw a lot of low grades in this class. I was ready to do my best on the final. There was a very slim chance I could move on with a nearly perfect final score. Unfortunately, I fell short of passing the class. 
With the chain of these sequential classes if I stayed in the education department I would be a year behind my fellow classmates. I talked to my fraternity brothers about changing my degree, moving to a new university, or even continuing down my path and being a year behind. 
I realized that I was not ready for what I had taken on. I needed to take more time to find myself in a future career as an educator. At the end of the semester I craved teaching. I wanted to see if it was right for me. This took me down a 12 year journey that I would never change. I ended up working at a summer camp to see if I loved teaching. That summer after failing a class, I was clear-headed and ready to take on that class again. I repeated the class in the next calendar year. 
I would never fail a class again. But there were moments of struggle in college and as a full time educator. For me what got me back on my feet to complete my degree was to know we all grew in different directions at different paces. 
I spent 12 summers working at that camp. It became one of my favorite places to spend time and see others find themselves. I am so grateful for this experience to remind me of what is important in my career. I did not have to get to the metaphorical mountain top. The journey was so much better. 
If you feel like you are not good enough there is a solution. The answer is to take your time. You have to prioritize what is going to have the biggest impact on your kids who are going to walk through that door on day one. The only teacher you need to compare yourself to is the teacher you were a year ago. Are you gaining skills in your craft? How have you grown? What do you wish you knew back when you failed that class?