It feels like just yesterday I was a high-school student trying to figure out what I was going to do for a living. I was a great singer, loved writing and poetry. I imagined becoming a rock star or writing for a living, among many other careers. The one career I knew for sure I would not have was being a cook. I am one of those people that cannot boil water to save their life. I have experienced a fire or two in the kitchen. The option to be a chef was definitely out. By the age of ten, I knew that I wanted to teach. But once I had that figured out, a million other questions came to mind. What age level was I going to teach (adults, youth or children?) How was I going to afford the education I needed to become a teacher? And the greatest question of all, what was I going to teach? All these questions made me feel discouraged and lost, so I put the idea of becoming a teacher or instructor out of my mind permanently. Or at least I thought I had.
I gave a few careers options a try, even completing a Financial Management Diploma, which would lead me down the path of becoming an Accountant. However, I knew all along that I needed to teach. It was simply what I loved!
I have now had the privilege to work with thousands of students. I have found them to be kind, highly intelligent, funny and loving. They never fail to amaze, inspire and drive me to be better. I have learned many lessons from my students. What is the most important thing I have learned? The most critical thing I have learned is how much students long for a supportive, respectful, compassionate, and caring classroom environment. It is a consistent trend amongst all students. The elements of support, respect and care are what they write down on flip charts when we create the classroom expectations together. I can only strive to provide them with such a classroom. I feel like a proud parent as students complete their program and move into the workplace. I hope that when they reflect on their studies with me, they feel a strong sense of care and support. A student may forget how to perform a particular action in the software they learn during their studies with me (I hope they don’t), but they will not forget about the care and support they received. For as much support as I provide my students, they do the same for me. They inspire and motivate me every day. So, I did not become a rock star or a professional writer, but I think I will survive … as long as I stay out of the kitchen!
Isabel Angel – Microsoft Office Business Instructor, Surrey Campus