Learning to teach; teaching to learn


Dreams of becoming an astronaut, fireman, scientist, and other ambitious jobs flood people’s minds from a young age. A person’s hobbies and interests predetermine most dream jobs. Another benefactor is how much money the job would make. But how often do you hear about a student wanting to become a teacher? Lenoir City High School student Jolene Pruitt works hard towards becoming a teacher.

“I’ve wanted to be a doctor, a lawyer, or an architect. But I decided to become a teacher because it is fulfilling,” Pruitt said.

An issue stopping most people from chasing their dreams is parental pressure. Most parents make their children second-guess their ambitions, creating a moment of second-guessing. More often than not, friends and family only want the best for you, so they ask a stressful question: “are you sure that’s what you want?”

“Personality-wise I’m [ready to teach], but my family doesn’t want me to be a teacher, so it’s hard to defend my choice,” Pruitt said.

After getting past peer pressure, a teacher-in-training will have to decide the grade level to teach. This is a tricky situation since completely committing to one grade level could backfire. As a high schooler, it is hard to look back at middle school years and see them as teachable, and for most, elementary school is way too much. However, Pruitt works well with kids and can understand them well enough.

“[I would teach] either second or third grade. I prefer working with little kids, but kindergarten sounds a little too stressful,” Pruitt said.

Teaching is an important job that gets shadowed by higher paying jobs. The roots of most great people typically root from great teachers. Although a lot of teachers are looked down upon, they are a pillar of the community. Having the opportunity to watch as a person grows is something that is not offered in many lines of work; a lot can change in the span of a year, and this is very visible in people.