“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” ~Nelson Mandela
As a 2011 high school graduate, I entered college scared to death and I was not aware of the great opportunities offered to college students. I found out quickly that I would need to utilize my resources, ask questions and seek advice to be successful in this phase of life called college.
Having earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, academics has always been a true passion of mine. When I began college, I knew I wanted to become an educator. To do so, one has to be focused and goal oriented!
Here are a few tips to help aspiring educators to be innovative, educated leaders.
1. Make sure you have a true passion for teaching and children. I mean let’s face it, this will be a lifelong job that you will devote your time and energy to. Start visiting schools before you get into your major courses, research the culture of schools, and start doing volunteer work around the community with kids or after school programs . I know a lot of people who thought they wanted to teach, but they quickly changed their mind.
2. Stay focused on your goal. Sometimes, life will hit you and you may get a little discouraged! However, stay focused and keep your eyes on the prize, a degree in education. I went out with friends, took a coffee break, spent a day away from work, and tried to do things that I loved besides teaching. Then, I would return back to work feeling refreshed and excited to work toward my goal again.
3. Make connections in your department and around campus! Not having the right connections can sometimes cause rejection! Knowing the right people in the right positions can really put you in the right situations. When I began to search for jobs, I had about five job opportunities before I even graduated because I made the right connections. It all came with talking to people, sending emails, and being involved.
4. Have a good attitude and always ask for help! You can learn so much from professionals with years of experience. A good attitude can get you far, not just in your professional, but on campus and in the community. I managed to become homecoming queen, involved on campus in different organizations, and made lasting friendships. I was able to do this because I asked for help and had a good attitude. It helps to be a very well-rounded person.
While these are important tips for future educators entering the world of education, there are far more to consider. I will be providing more.
In the meantime, stay focused. Make a difference. Go out and change the world, one child at a time.