Seasoned and still passionate about teaching

September 7, 2013 

While I wholeheartedly agree that many new teachers bring a passion and idealism to the classroom, I think that if Esther Cepeda had actually stayed in the classroom longer than two years, she would have seen that many veteran teachers also have that same passion, except our idealism for the rigors of our job have been tempered somewhat with a good dose of reality of what teaching actually entails.

Most teachers do not become really good until the five-year mark, yet the attrition rate for new educators is dismal with a 50 percent turnover in the first five years of teaching. This is due in part because new teachers are not adequately prepared in their credential programs to deal with the realities of being a classroom teacher.

Cepeda’s description of an “ idealistic new teacher” describes me and several of my colleagues. We all still work long hours, pay for supplies for our students and classroom out of pocket, work through weekends, work late at night, call home, find clothes and services for families that are in crisis, and continually evaluate our teaching practices so that we can provided engaging and thoughtful lessons for every student that walks through our door.

Disillusionment does happen, but that is true with every profession. Those of us who are “seasoned teachers,” teach because we are called to, because we love our students and are passionate about education!

AIMEE SHEPARD MATLOCK

Modesto

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