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Career > Work

Taking the first real step into my career

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at SBU chapter.

On Tuesday of this week, I went into my Clinical Experience placement for the very first time (well, kind of… Tuesday was a virtual snow day and I went into school on Thursday but, potato potahto).

While I substitute teach for both elementary schools and the middle school in my hometown, something about beginning Clinical for St. Bonaventure felt more like of a career-defining step for me. Subbing is something I am comfortable with; Clinical did not fall into that category for me. This nervousness was not inherently negative, I am just quite afraid of the future.

I love teaching, and I know it is what I was meant to do with my future. Even though I knew this to be true, I couldn’t get rid of that nervousness while walking closer and closer to the doors of my school at 7:00 A.M. this morning.

I knew I was prepared and I knew that this was what I wanted to do, but the doubtful voices were ones that I had a serious time shaking.

Was I going to make a good impression? Was I going to set myself apart? Was I going to make a silly mistake and have it snowball into a disaster?

By the time I had settled myself into my cooperating teacher’s room, I had a pile of useful materials in front of me that she was planning on using with her students, and was elbow-deep in notes.

From being able to both learn material from her as a student with a new perspective, to working with her to collectively to make a teaching plan and schedule for me, to leading some of the class activities, I found myself completely immersed in the job and my environment. I was actively having fun.

When the day was finally done, I walked out with arms full of papers, a mind full of expertise and a smile on my face. Yes, I know that sounds super corny, but it’s true. Clinical is, in my eyes, the first real step into our careers as teachers (and it is more like a freefall than a step), but I’m so glad I let myself go and have fun.

It is a perfectly normal feeling to want to stay in the comfort zone of school, or home or even bed (come on we’ve all been there), but to take a step out with the intent of going towards something that is something you strive for is so rewarding.

Leah McElheny is a new Her Campus at SBU chapter member who plans to write about literature, movies, TV shows, and most things pop culture. Outside of Her Campus, Leah is a junior at St. Bonaventure University and is currently double majoring in Adolescent Education with an English concentration and English. She has worked with multiple school districts in the area tutoring and substitute teaching for middle school and elementary school. She currently works for the university as a writing tutor and a peer coach to a group of freshmen. In her free time, Leah enjoys dancing for the SBU dance team, reading, and watching movies. Her favorite books are "The Similars" and "The Pretenders", both by Rebecca Hanover. Her biggest personality trait is loving Harry Potter and she prides herself on being incredibly mediocre at all forms of trivia, other than Harry Potter trivia of course.