I've been thinking a lot about this question recently. I just graduated from a teaching program and am now a certified Alberta teacher. But am I really a Teacher?
In recent encounters with new people, I've been asked the commonplace question, "what do you do?". I've found myself struggling with a particular answer. You see, I have a degree that says I'm a teacher but, in reality, I have not a classroom of my own or an actual teaching position. So I reply with "I'm in education". And then, the lets-get-to-the-bottom-of-this question, "oh, are you a teacher". "Well yes" I reply, "but I'm not working as a teacher right now. I'm working with special needs students in schools..." And round we go.
|A kind of teacher. (image source)|
Shouldn't the status of Teacher be reserved for those actually engaging in it on a daily basis? Those spectacular people designing activities for student learning, dealing with parents, going to meetings, thinking about the learning needs of each and every student in the class, and taking on the curriculum? I certainly engage in junior versions of many of these things now, but certainly not to the full extent of a classroom teacher. I cannot help but feel I would be devaluing what they do everyday by calling myself a teacher.
|A revered teacher. (image source)|
|A teacher in the making? (image source)|