Wednesday, March 03, 2010


One thing that I have certainly noticed over my student teaching so far is the amazing amount of confidence that I have built up. Now, I never have really seen myself as not being confident. I played sports in high school, I've worked with kids in numerous occasions before -- from summer camps to tutoring -- and I've worked as a leader in a few housing positions at my local university. However, being in front of a classroom is a totally different animal.

I think with my previous experiences I was still somewhat of a follower. I don't think this was necessarily a bad thing; it was simply how things went down. Okay, I was the "captain" of my track and cross country teams in high school but that was mainly a seniority thing, and all I really did was organize things and lead the warm-ups. While I was a camp counselor and an RA, I often took a back-seat to some of the other counselors when it came to group decisions.

Again, those aren't necessarily bad things. I was a good teammate and a loyal, hardworking coworker. I still am. But being in front of a classroom has given me the unique experience of being totally in charge. I am very fortunate that my supervising teacher is not a micro-manager. Quite the opposite, she expects for me to be bold and decisive when it comes to my lesson planning and my classroom management. If I bomb sometimes, I have to pick myself up.

And boy, I have definitely bombed a few times -- more than a few -- over this experience. I've made bad calls when it came to classroom management, I've procrastinated, I've had really poorly-planned lessons, and I've overlooked important dates and figures. There has been so much stuff thrown at me at once over the past six weeks and I am only now starting to feel like I have the swing of it. Now that I've said that, some new circumstance will come along, I'm sure.

But you know what? I'm okay with that. Through all of this, I've had to learn from my mistakes and pick up the pieces myself. I've become more confident not because I'm perfect, but because I know that if I screw up, I can simply be a man, say I'm sorry, and work hard to clean up whatever mess I made and move on -- learning to do better the next time. It's been a pretty great experience and it's really shown me what confidence really is. Goodnight, everyone!


Erik said...

Wow, great to finally see a full picture of you teaching on the blog. I never would have guessed that you are a bald black man. ;)

Love ya dude,


donsands said...

I'm not a leader at all. Yet, I was a QB on my HS football team, and I now am the president of my company, and do most of the decision making, contacting builders and that sort of thing.

I hate it, but I do it.

Like the servant of Maximus in "The Galdiator" said: "Somtimes I get to do what I want to do, other times I do what I have to do."

That was an encouraging post for me, believe it or not. The Lord has helped me be a bit more confident this week, when I needed it most.

I long for the day when this world has waxed away, and Christ brings in His new earth.

have a great Lord's Day!

Brandon said...

You give me a lot of hope and encouragement for being a student teacher this next semester. With all the worry about it, I look at you and think, if Jay can do it, I can too.


College Jay said...

Thanks for the comments, everyone. I'm glad God can use me to be encouraging in some ways, and no, I am not a bald black man.

Marc said...

This has been challenging for me. It has been a hindrance in so many areas of life, but I'm finding that as I step out boldly, don't hide behind pity party, or passive perfectionism (doing nothing rather than risk failure), the Lord blesses me with amazing experiences and growth. I may not get what I want all the time, but His covering has been quite the rush, and reward enough in several instances.

Being really overweight and asthmatic as a child "convinced" me I couldn't be in athletic activities. Taking that first REALLY slow jog around the block my freshman year of college, and desperately thrashing to get across the pool in an elective course have resulted in a marathon and masters swim. Didn't happen overnite, but the Lord was with me through the gasping, expletives, blisters, and more pool water than anyone should ever consume...

The same can be said of career. Listening to the lies of the enemy about inadequacy have resulted in my being "behind" about 10yrs from where I should be, but the Lord is faithful to redeem that--or not. I trust Him, now, to lead me; even if it's where I didn't anticipate.

I've been afraid to travel because I feared I wouldn't communicate my food allergies well enough. Well, during a forced "sabattical" last year I discovered that Subway is global, and (if not available) there are lot of creative/entertaining ways to communicate a risk of anaphylaxis. :)

God IS good...

devry columbus said...

I have always been afraid to speak in front because I'm afraid to commit mistakes and be laughed at. You shared some good insights that hopefully will help me conquer my fears. Thank you!