How do I know if teaching is right for me?
My name is Anthony Claros-Erazo. I’m a social introvert who finds meaning in helping other people no matter their background. I’ve been interested in teaching for the longest time now, but I still have some fear that I don’t really know what I’m getting myself into. I’d like any advice, negative or positive, to help me figure out if this is what I truly want. #answer #teacher
I am a social introvert as well. I also have been a trainer (also called instructor and teacher) for the companies that I have worked for. Being an introvert shouldn't keep you from teaching. It is important that you know that the nervousness does not go away. You will always have it when you are about to teach. So why do it? You have to have a passion for teaching, for helping someone learn something that they didn't know before. Watching people learn something new, something that would help them make a good living, is addictive. I am still teaching in person some of the time, even though I have moved on to be an instructional designer. Why? I miss the rush, the challenge, of teaching people something new. It is certainly different with COVID and virtual classrooms. But my passion is still the same - the help someone learn a new skill. If you have that passion, then you will be able to get over any nervousness or fear of teaching.
Also, one of the aspects of being an introvert is that you use a lot of energy to interact with people for long periods of time. You need to make sure that you are doing the right amount of self care. You need to have quiet time, get good rest, and eat well. Make sure that you take care of you.
I consider myself to be a social introvert as well. Honestly, when I first started my undergrad program I knew that I wanted to become a counselor but ended up working as an elementary school tutor and fell in love with working with students to help them progress in their education which made me change my major into Liberal Studies to become an elementary school teacher. I believe that in order to fully figure yourself out is to take the initiative and get into working/volunteering in a school setting. You will be working with kids, I felt that it was easier for me to talk to them and I generally am I shy person but when it comes to helping kids I am an extrovert. You'll find your path but definitely get yourself into working in education you will learn tremendously. Also talking to your past teachers will help you so much. Teaching can be hard but it is very rewarding.
I think your self-awareness is rare, and it's great that you are acknowledging what may be a barrier to starting a career in teaching. Many people who are introverted become incredible teachers, as it is the passion to educate that triumphs any obstacles like this one. You said you find meaning in helping people, and that is a quality that will take you far. I would suggest taking public speaking classes as you go through your teaching program so that you can become more comfortable talking to others. Fear is good, it means you want to do something well and you will work hard to do that.
Best of luck :)