Why I love teaching
When Teacher Plus asked a few teachers to reminisce about their first day as a teacher, some of them went further down memory lane to ponder over the question why they got into the profession of teaching — was it their love for teaching? Was it an accident? Or was it the thought that they could mould young minds? Here are some responses that we got.
I love teaching
I have been teaching children for over thirty years and I just love it. There is never a dull moment when one interacts with kids and they know that the teacher is a friend and not a monster with a grim face ready to pounce at any lapse. Teaching Spoken English to children, especially those whose mother tongue is different is a daunting experience because they are unaccustomed to the language and its idiom.
My most memorable teaching experience was when I volunteered to teach spoken English to a batch of physically challenged boys and girls from the less affluent sections of society undergoing vocational training. They were from Tamil medium schools with very little knowledge of English. They were, however, keen to learn and eager to make a mark when they encountered the job market. I used the Linguaphone method to acquaint them with the correct pronunciation. Their initial reaction was surprise and laughter and a diffidence about ‘speaking like a foreigner’. After a few sessions of familiarization with the sounds, some volunteers ventured to imitate and then felt emboldened to attempt original conversation, adopting the Spoken English model. Care was taken to ensure that the topics were relevant to daily life. Once the ice was broken, there was no holding back. All the others clamoured for their chance to try out their new-found skills. Their collective enthusiasm knew no bounds. Happily, many of the students found immediate placements and are gainfully employed. This, I feel, is the ultimate personal satisfaction of being a teacher.
I have reason to believe today that teaching has been the single-most fulfilling experience so far
Teaching was never a front-runner in my not-so-long list of career choices. In fact, to think of it, it wasn’t even part of the list. Serendipity, you may call it, but I have reason to believe today that teaching has been the single-most fulfilling experience so far, especially having tried several other jobs including management and publishing. Considering the meager amount we teachers get paid at the end of each month, you would think, “Why?” But here is the thing, after weeks of trying to get across the concepts of “Show, don’t tell,” and “Smooth transitions,” and the likes of it, I believe, for every teacher, there comes a moment when you quietly watch as your students crowd around a conference table, reading student drafts, and noting, “You know what Kristie, this could be even better if you included an anecdote here.” This is the point you, as a teacher, realize that however tough it may be to handle a bunch of silly, immature, 18-year-olds, they are learning, not just to write, but to think, think dialectically.
I must say my first few days of school were a mixture of nervousness and anxiety
Given that I am a novice in the teaching profession, I must say my first few days of school were a mixture of nervousness and anxiety. Now I am happy to say that that was just a passing phase and I have improved everyday as teacher and more importantly towards becoming a better human being. I teach Grade 2 students of a municipal school in Pune which has kids coming from underprivileged backgrounds but their zeal and urge to excel is second to none. Their inquisitiveness about everything and the constant thirst for knowledge that they display gives you faith and hope that one day they too will be able to lead the life they want and the education they get will be the gateway to their goal.
Ultimately when you reflect about your day in school thinking about the various lessons, you will always come across a better way of doing the same thing again but the critical point is to be aware that you gave your best shot today and that your kids are approaching the desired mastery level.