“He who knows much about others may be learned, but he who understands himself is more intelligent. He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still.” – Tao Te Ching
Earlier this week, I really opened up about all my fears about teaching in Mexico. I expressed my doubt (in myself), my anxiety and my nervousness about the system. A day later, one of my amazing new friends sent me an email of encouragement and, in turn, I have been thinking a lot about the doubt I have in myself.
The past few days in Mexico have been filled with a lot of exciting new challenges, including teaching (pretty much) full time in a Oaxacan classroom. There are many things that are very different ways in which Oaxacan classrooms and Vancouver classrooms differ (there are a zillion and one ways they are the same too, but that’s for another post!). The differences between what I am used to and what is my current reality, are, at times very overwhelming and because I am often feeling uneasy or unsure of how to act/what to do, I am questioning myself way too much.
I know that I doubt myself a lot, in so many aspects of my life and I am beginning to realize that that is something I really need to work on. I know that I have come really far from the stressed out, way too planned out girl I was, but I believe there is always room to grown, always room to improve.
In my experience so far in Oaxacan classrooms, the atmosphere is so different than what I am used to (though, don’t get me wrong, I have limited experience in classrooms!). Students talk loudly, interrupt the teacher, paint their nails in class, make-out in class (yes, that really happened!). I could go on, but the point is, it is different. Here in Oaxaca, the teacher has a different role and classroom management doesn’t seem to exist. It seems to work for the teachers here but for a girl who is used to a whole different arrangement, it can be quite shocking and, at times, overwhelming.
I know at the end of the day my experience here in Oaxaca is going to benefit me so much as a teacher and that by the time I get to my long practicum come January I will have dealt with tons of crazy situations and will be able to think on my feet much quicker. But, getting through these next 2.5 weeks is going to require an incredible amount of patience (with myself, the students and the situation). On top of that, I want to stop doubting myself.
I am school because I want to be a teacher. I want to be a good teacher (or, if I am being honest, I want to be an amazing teacher). I know that I can do it, I just have to have faith in myself and stop worrying about the what ifs. I need to be confident and believe I can do it! Because, I believe I can.