As a new teacher, I believe I am bringing many new and exciting strengths to the field of teaching. Some of these strengths include having greater digital literacy than teachers before, understanding that teaching children is not limited to academics, and bringing new and fresh ideas to teaching. However, like many educators, I have weaknesses as well. As an educator, identifying weaknesses in yourself is equally if not more important than identifying strengths. A wonderful aspect about teaching nowadays is that technology has allowed and promoted teachers from all over the world to collaborate and help each other. The area of weakness that I have identified in myself is the visual and performing arts. I feel very comfortable teaching most of the areas that I will be required to as an elementary school teacher, however, the visual and performing arts is definitely the area I am most concerned about. I have a strong desire to incorporate dance/music and design plays for my students to perform, however, I am not extremely comfortable doing so. I understand the basic concepts required for each, however, I would definitely enjoy and want to increase my knowledge about these subjects and how to teach them. I hope that while I am teaching I will be offered several professional development programs that focus on the visual and performing arts, yet I know that this is unlikely. In fact, I would not be surprised if there are not any professional development programs with a focus on visual and performing arts. I would love to hear any resources that other educators have to help me with this task. I would also love to hear other educators who may have experienced the same thing and how they went about gaining the knowledge necessary to become a great teacher of the visual and performing arts for the elementary grades.
Another area of weakness that I would like to hear advice on would be on how to stay up to date as a teacher. One of the fears that I have witnessed in many teachers is that they are a perfect teacher for a particular time and place. I want to adapt as much as I can while teaching. Every year and every day should be different where I incorporate new subject matter knowledge and new pedagogical practices. I want to constantly be learning while teaching, yet I have seen time and time again that many teachers are stuck in a time zone. I want to engage in as much professional learning and collaboration that I can. In this digital age, it would seem as if we are in the best position in history to ensure all teachers have an infinite amount of tools at their disposal. While I want to learn as much as I can and use this new knowledge in the classroom, I am also confronted with the teacher requirements. Teachers have assessments, standardized tests, benchmarks and many other requirements to fulfill. I believe these requirements are part of the reason that many teachers do not stay up to date on the latest teaching innovations and practices. The idea of “if it’s not broke don’t fix it” is generally a solid plan, yet for our students why shouldn’t we want to make it better even if it’s not broken? I hope these constraints do not limit my ability to consistently learn more every day. Though this topic is not necessarily a weakness of mine it is an area that I want to ensure will not become a future weakness. For the teachers that are constantly engaged and adapting what is the best way to continue learning? How can a new teacher best implement new techniques and new ideas with all of the other requirements that come with the job?