By Claire Buesser, SED 2016
When I came to BU last year, I knew I was embarking on a new journey. Everyone told me “college is a chance to start over!” This was it, my chance to leave “old Claire” behind. As appealing as this sounds though, it terrified me. As the semester began, I found myself feeling overwhelmed by the newness of my surroundings and unsure of how “college Claire” should react. I soon realized that this concept of starting over is inaccurate and misleading. College is not an opportunity to create a new person; rather, it is an opportunity to dive into myself as a person and allow that person to shine through. Sure, I can continue to sculpt and reshape myself, but I do not need to scratch my whole identity.
Coming to this realization allowed me to finally accept that my experience is what I make it, and it is unique to me because I am the one experiencing it. Embracing my own identity and trusting myself gave me the freedom to question, grow, and learn. My identity? A teacher. I, Claire, am a teacher. It is what I do best, it is who I am, and it is what I am called to do. I do not need to become a new person, I just need to more deeply develop the person I already am. Andrew Slack, the founder of the Harry Potter Association, said that “fantasy is not an escape from our world but an invitation to go deeper into it.” I liken this to my progression as a pre-service teacher; college is not a deviation from my former self, but an invitation to dive deeper into me. My SED courses stress the importance of valuing each student’s individual talents; why shouldn’t I apply to myself as well? I must embrace my natural talents, hone my skills, and value myself as a skilled, caring individual. For me, teaching is not a job; it is who I am. It is the perfect fusion of my skills, one that allows me to dive deeper into myself and into society.
One of my students in Sunday School phrased my sentiments very well. This week we were discussing God-given talents (likened to bags of gold in our lesson). I asked the children if I had any “bags of gold,” and they agreed that my talent is teaching. Rachel, a first-grader, elaborated: “you want to be a teacher because God gave you the gift to teach. That’s the bag of gold he gave you so you gotta use it so you can give more gold back to him.” That is exactly what I plan on doing. I intend to use my bags of gold to improve the world in my own way. I must not hide my gold, nor should I try to create my own bag of gold. I am only me, an optimistic teacher, who can’t wait to begin sharing her gold with the world.
*Claire Buesser is a sophomore at Boston University School of Education studying elementary education.