Freshman Year: The Year to Get Your Feet Wet
Congratulations, edumagicians! You are starting a great journey of a lifetime! We remember the feeling of excitement, of expectation, of eagerness. Before we go any further, we want you to take a moment and ask yourself: Why I am becoming an education major? What is my WHY for teaching? If you cannot honestly answer this, then take time to find your answer before continuing on this pre-service teacher journey. Don't know where to start? Try using these resources:
Ok, so you know that becoming a teacher is just for you. Great! Notice how your why changes during your freshman year and beyond - as in the words of Buzz Light year. Your why will mature as you grow in your educational journey and into your field. This first year holds so much magic! Two very important steps to take this year are creating a positive digital presence and gaining classroom experience. Having a positive digital footprint is vital for your professionalism. With today’s technology, a future employer can gain instant insight into what is out there about you, based on a quick Google search. Read about leaving a digital footprint here.
Next step is to see what is already out there about you. So, you much Google yourself. Look through not only web results but images, news, and video. See what is out there about you. If you don't control your digital presence who will? Do you like what you see? Want to improve your professional digital presence? Follow these three steps:
Create professional Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc. accounts. Try to use the same (or similar) handles. This handle should reflect how you want future employers to find you and is often your first and last name.
Create a professional digital portfolio. Use your professional name/handle in the web address.
Engage with your virtual peers or PLN (professional learning network). Read more about the what, why, and how of your PLN here.
Next, let's chat about gaining classroom experience. As a freshman, you may have classes related to education or you may not. But don't let that hold you back! Get the clearances that you require to get into schools and start observing even if you don't have a class requiring it... YET! The more experience you can get with children the better. You may want to volunteer at the library or lead a children's message at church. Try to see teachers in action in their classrooms it will really open up your eyes to see that teaching is more than delivering content. In addition gain experiences in a variety of teaching settings and environments. You never know what you are drawn to unless you check it out! Get out there and have fun!
Alright, ed major, you are inspired by your WHY and your professional accounts have been created. You are engaging with your PLN. Get your complete list of freshman education major tips in the soon to be published EduMagic Planner. Sign up here to get all the details about its release. In the meantime, check out the Elementary Teacher Education Survival Guide.
Hannah Sansom and Sam Fecich