One Tuesday morning, while I was on duty at school, two first-graders came to me and asked in their respective innocent voices: “Teacher, we want some ice cream!”
I answered back in jest, “First, get perfect scores in any of your trimestral exams!” The two kids just smiled and nodded, knowing very well what it meant for them. Immediately afterwards, they left me and went back to play in the covered court.
Being smart, talented and privileged children, I knew very well that most, if not all of the children under my care will grow up and become professionals at the very least. I don’t have any doubts that many of them will have a bright future to look upon.
Such is the joy of teaching young learners: You don’t only see them grow up, but at the same time, you get the chance to shape their future.
In the same vein, guiding these children is a challenging task: After all, their behavior and capabilities are not the same as those of previous generations. Even though it personally got better for me over time, the kinks and bumps in my career make me wonder why in the world I got into the profession in the first place.
As a person, I’m not exactly known for patience and tact, which are some of the values that are most sought in teachers. In fact, I tend to live by the following mantra outside of school: Just do it, never look back and end the job right – which in itself is just a more sober way of saying “shoot first, ask questions later.”
It is now my second year and despite the fact that I’ve learned a lot of techniques and accumulated a ton of experience, I still have a hard time managing some of my classes at certain times. Thus, it is amazing to see how teachers in public schools are able to handle larger groups without seemingly breaking a sweat – though I’m very well aware that they face a completely different set of challenges in their respective schools.
I remember in my first year when there are times when I fail to pass my requirements on time and when my body and soul just wanted to give up. Only the thought of being able to survive my first year enabled me to survive that mess. My practicum has never taught me how to handle young learners; after all, I was trained to become a high school teacher in the first place!
Then of course, came the extra hours that one spent in order to grind out examination papers. There are also times that one has to stay after hours in order to prepare for a school activity or to come to school during Saturdays to prepare students for certain competitions. Given that I’m in the English department, it usually meant training them for campus journalism, spelling or creative writing competitions – and needless to say, it is extremely tiring at times to the point that the body already wants to stop and take a rest.
Still, I enjoy the feeling of being able to inspire my students to become better persons and students. Even though educating people doesn’t earn you that much money, you feel the satisfaction of being to change a child’s life in a positive manner.
In relation to that, we all heard the notion that “no one gets rich by being a teacher” and yes, there are indeed times when we barely make ends meet. However, I would have still chosen Education over nearly any field (except for writing-related ones), any time of the day.
Even though it is too early for me to say these things (it is an unspoken rule inside the vocation that one doesn’t gain full experience until his/her third year), considering that my former students haven’t even went to senior high school yet, I become happy when I hear that one of them has won a certain writing competition or that someone learned to love reading books. It is somewhat fulfilling to hear that all those days and nights trying to teach them academically has actually worked in the later stages of their lives.
People who see me the first time around are rather surprised when they realize that I’m a teacher; after all, I don’t look like one when I’m outside the campus. As a matter of fact, some of my students don’t understand how a teacher can be also an “esports junkie” (if you heard of Dota 2, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and the like, then these are some major esports titles for you) at the same time.
Still, I give my utmost effort when I’m inside the classroom; both out of respect to the profession as well as meeting my own personal maxim of “doing things in the best way possible”.
So far, it has worked out for me and that’s what matters.
HERE. WE. GO!
- I’m now about to start my third year of teaching.
- I still have a lot to learn.
- However, I’m more willing than ever to learn in order to deliver the best that I can in the teaching profession.
- And these seminars were really enjoyable. Got the chance to work with many people. YAY!
- Then again…probably my first time to teach Physical Education. (Hides in the closet…)
Okay. Almost ready for the new academic year, I guess. :3