written by Dr. Krysten Pampel
I have been teaching since Fall of 2009 and the lyrics in Joy by Andy Grammer are a good representation of my evolution in becoming a teacher at Glendale Community College.
I vividly remember my first year teaching and the fear that sat with me on the daily. The weight of being a teacher cannot be articulated in a preservice teacher classroom. It is something you experience when you have students show up in your classroom on the first day of classes.
Doubt was a constant in those first years of teaching since I was building and creating curriculum with the hope that students would gain the knowledge they needed in order to be successful in the next class. This was a huge challenge and the pressure felt very high to help my students who were looking to move into STEM careers after high school were given all the tools they needed to achieve their academic goals.
In the Fall of 2011, I was accepted into a doctorate program which was a great opportunity but stretched me too thin. I felt sorrow when leaving high school was the best option for me to complete my doctorate degree and have a better balance in my life.
As a doctorate student I had very limited access to the classroom which kept me grieving the loss of leaving the high school classroom. The ways I connected with college students was significantly different than high school students. Over the years in my doctoral program, I started to change my perspective and found joy as I got closer to finishing my dissertation.
Pressure entered my teaching evolution when I found out I was pregnant. My due date and my dissertation completion were around the day. I also felt pressure in determining what I wanted to do for work after finishing my degree.
My husband has asked me what job I would take that would make it where I no longer taught at the community college at night. I was so struck by this question because I never realized how much I liked teaching at the community college. I knew that if I got any other job I would be in a constant state of jealousy for those working at the community college inspiring college students in the classroom.
As I applied for a full time position at Glendale Community College, I started to get excited but was told by many current residential faculty that it was normal not to get hired the first time you interview. I went into the interview still hopeful that I would be a strong candidate for the position. After making it through all three rounds, I started to let doubt creep back in which felt shameful since I had been warned that the first time you interview you rarely get hired.
I found joy in the June of 2017 when I received a call for Dr. Chris Miller, the mathematics department chair, offered me the job. I continued to find joy when I had my son, Olyver, at the end of September 2017 and again on November 3rd, 2012 when I defended my dissertation, successfully earning my doctorate degree.
I have been finding more joy ever since getting a position here at GCC, through the students I teach, the colleagues I collaborate with, and the opportunities for growth I have found.