The Quiet Kid’s Struggle to be a Teacher


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I feel like I’m always looking at my teachers and peers in awe of something I’m missing. Something everyone’s got that I don’t.

Teachers are confident

Teachers are set

Teachers are influential

Teachers are reputable

Teachers are respected

Then there’s me:

From living life, I wouldn’t describe myself as any of these. I’m more of a reserved person, an observer, someone who often speaks last, if ever. Being slow to speech often hinders my ability to be looked to as a source of knowledge. I notice it in every classroom I’m a part of; every group setting I’m in.

In addition to being on the quieter side, I also have a history of being super self-critical and often self-deprecating, even when most of the time, it’s not even true. I often find myself saying things that come across as me having no idea what I’m doing or me not putting effort forth which is usually a lie.

The ratio of self-deprecation to actual words said is frankly out of line. This contrast often results in (school) peers viewing me as an inferior student, or someone who doesn’t take pride in what they do which equates to a lack of respect. This has been my struggle in field and anytime I have a spotlight. I throw it away in such a manner that it isn’t offered to me again.

Where It Stems From:

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Reflection is super important for most professionals but few more so than teacher. We can all agree on that, I’m sure.  It helps us determine where we’re going from where we’ve been.

I firmly believe that my affect is a learned behavior. I come from an upbringing that resulted in an ACE score of 6(that I found out from our last topic), with abuse and neglect being dominant components. I never had the chances to talk and a good portion of the talking I did resulted in negative conditioning. I’m aware of this and I take this with me during most of all of my days.

Where I’m Going:

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My time at Miami has given me such a larger scope of teaching and life experiences. I think by just being an education major demands a lot of stepping up and I’ve watched myself grow over the years. If you struggle with teaching in a similar vein as mine, here’s a list of quick tips I’ve found:

  • Find yo people. A strong support system is crucial for confidence related issues
  • Rehearse. Something I’m still trying super hard to incorporate more. Having a clear image of how something rolls of the tongue can help with coming across as clueless.
  • Anticipate future questions. Preparing for the facets can help your reputation of reliable answer-giving.
  • Ask for feedback. After you’ve built some confidence, have a peer sit in on your lesson and ask them what could be improved. (and implement it in some capacity!)

While I’ve learned how to help my own fallacies as a teacher, I’ve also become aware of my dissonance in my original career choice. Coming from a very small, rural, poverish school district, I grew accustomed to teachers being very personal, sacrificing, and in a ton of cases including my own, they served as a support system to many kids in my school.

Coming to Miami, that idea quickly dissipated. I learned there was a clear divide on who the teacher was in a student’s life. It was not normal for a teacher to support you at the level they did in my high school (financially, transportation, talking through problems). I wanted to be a teacher to help those who needed help.

My own experiences are not in any means definitive of others’, however, my experience gives me the passionate and curiosity and empathy to use it in order to humble myself so I can help others when their roofs cave in.

I know I’ve mentioned it in some fashion in another blog somewhere, but hold on to why you do something.

Why do you want to teach science?

Keep that answer, hold it close, and watch yourself overcome your biggest obstacle.

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“The journey is never ending, there’s always gonna be growth, improvement, adversity; you just gotta take it all in and do what’s right, continue to grow, continue to live in the moment” -Antonio Brown





  1. Wyatt, I appreciate your honesty in this post. I think a lot of us have felt similarly unsuited or unprepared to tackle this life-changing goal of being a teacher, but something that’s been important for me to understand is that nobody starts out teaching entirely confident in themselves. And yet we haven’t run out of good teachers. There are more and more of us every year that take up that responsibility and rise to the challenge.
    I’m sure you’ll find the kind of teacher that Mr. Biscoff is and I’m willing to bet he’ll be fantastic.


    • Thanks Peter! It’s been an absolute pleasure being in the same cohort as you! Take care Mr. Murray!

  2. Wyatt,
    I like that you expanded this topic to include where you will be going and other careers. These blogs can be helpful in multiple ways if they stem to other aspects of life. It’s also easy to forget why a career path is chosen, so that reminder helps.

    Regarding your paragraph on your own thoughts of what a teacher “should be,” I think we all feel similarly when evaluating ourselves. I have to keep reminding myself that my confidence level on the inside is never equal to what a high school kid sees.

    • Will,
      Yeah that’s what I tend to think about a lot. Confidence is an integral piece to teaching and it’s important to work on it!

  3. Hello Wyatt,
    Thank you for sharing. I don’t know if you know this, but i struggle in many of the same areas that you do. I am happy that you shared this because I feel inferior to other people as well. I struggled from depression all my life and my school experience was less than perfect. Like you, I just want to help students. I agree that I need to be aware of my insecurities as well. I remember so many people telling me that I should not become a teacher. They told me that I should pursue a job that pays more. Truth is, I do not care about the money. High schoolers are some of the most awesome people! agree? hope so! I was also told that high schoolers would “eat me up”. Funny thing is that when I went into the field, they did “eat me up”, but in a positive way! They learned from me and enjoyed my presense! lol! I like your suggestions on how to improve your self-image. I needed to hear that. Do you struggle with classroom stage fright as well? I wrote a post about that, check it out! I struggled with that as well. I really needed to hear what you said because I struggle with similar obstacles. I am glad you are becoming a teacher to help people. You will be awesome! How would you deal with classroom stage fright? What are your suggestions?

    Delaina 🙂

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