Joining Joanna Malefaki’s challenge – My letter to my #youngerteachershelf

I wrote the other day about the future and that it represents a promise. If I had to look back and think about what the past represents, I’d say it offers us an opportunity to reflect. To discover what the end result of prior decisions is and how they have shaped our present reality, teaching or not. With the past in mind then, I have to admit that I have often thought of what I’d tell myself when I realized teaching is my call – What would I tell my younger teaching self if I had the chance? What advice could I share with her?”. Thanks to Joanna Malefaki’s inspiring blog challenge, I managed to travel back in time and send a letter to the younger version of me 🙂

Dear Maria,

It’s 2006 now and you’re officially home after completing your MA in Audiovisual Translation in the UK. You decided to work as a subtitler/translator for a while, didn’t work out for you and now you’re ready to go back into teaching. You think it will be a temporary solution until your music-related dreams are realized, but I have shocking news to share with you – you’ll soon discover teaching is your call and 9 teaching years will fly by without you even noticing. So now that you’ve matured (sort of, at least) let’s go through what you could do/have done differently:

·         Trust your instincts! – Well, don’t get me wrong – you’ve always taken notice of that inner voice in you (even when it was fear and uncertainty talking), but sometimes you just need to pay more attention.

·         Don’t worry so much! Yes, stress is a good thing WHEN it is productive. Relax, breathe deep and embrace your inner strength. You’ll make it, but why not save yourself all the worry and anxiety in between?

·         Welcome change and be open to surprises – This is true for every aspect of your life, including teaching. You will have ups and downs and face situations where things will spin out of control. You will need to reorder your priorities, value more who you are as a teacher and develop. You will fail and you will be scared, but it’s OK. It’s perfectly fine not to know every answer and not being in control. And that’s the greatest lesson you’ll learn – to move on, embrace the unknown and go with the flow.

·         Let your students lead the way – Here is the control issue again 🙂 It’s OK to be in charge and be the “authority”, but let me give you a piece of advice, young lady – you’ll learn more from your students than you can ever imagine. Welcome their talents and encourage them to share who they are. You won’t regret it!

·         Sing and play more! – Well, teaching isn’t the only surprise awaiting you. You will also get the chance to follow your biggest dream – that is, to sing in a band. Right now that seems so unlikely to you (oh, how I wish you believed more in you!) but a few years later you will meet wonderful musicians and embark on so many musical journeys. Share your gift with your students and let go! You are a creative spirit after all, so why not create and have fun with your kids? Well, even if you don’t do so now, I guarantee you will be doing so 10 years from now! 🙂

As for everything else, my only advice for now is to be true to who you are. You are unique with your strengths and your flaws. Don’t let anyone question that! Also, always remember you only live once, so use your time wisely. Spend time with the people you love, enjoy life’s precious little moments and smile.

I know you’ll grow and I trust you’ll never stop growing. Thank you for being who you are and for shaping who I will be.

Love,

Maria
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