Aside from being a writer, being a teacher is probably the most sane and realistic career ambition I have. You see, my fantasies range from being an engineer and scientist, to being a theater actress, or a concert pianist. But as I managed to have some reality checks and as I was able to straighten my priorities, I’ve learned to let these dreams go. Favorably, I’ve found myself in the enlightening path of teaching.
I’ve been a language teacher for a while. I’ve taught English as a secondary language to Korean students for several months. Then, I’ve taught Filipino to an Aussie reality show celebrity for almost a couple of years. In hindsight, I must say that teaching is a passion that tests both skill and patience. More importantly, however, being a teacher taught me a good deal of lessons:
1. A teacher must love teaching.
Teaching Korean students has become a booming industry with growing demands in the Philippines as Korean nationals flock to the country in an effort to take advantage of the cheaper tuition fee. In return, many Filipinos opted to apply for ESL teaching jobs. Based on what I’ve observed, one of the saddest parts of this scenario is that some do not perceive teaching as something beyond a source of income. As a result, some teachers simply played the part. The lesson I’ve learned is that in order to teach a student effectively, a teacher must first have the genuine desire to educate and nurture his or her student. Out of this noble goal shall drive and motivation to teach spring forth.
2. A teacher can only do so much.
In my experience in teaching language, I’ve proven that language is a way of living. It’s like breathing and eating. It’s a medium through which we communicate and express ourselves. When we speak, we barely think in technical terms of the language, right? Thus, to be able to learn or master a language, one must first resolve to himself that like breathing and eating, he will practice and use it daily. Otherwise, he’ll only know it in theory. Like learning how to drive, information without application is futile. Knowing this, a teacher can only do so much—impart the knowledge and encourage; but it’s up to the student whether or not he or she will actually learn.
3. A teacher must love his or her students.
This one is not easy. Students come in all shapes and sizes, personalities and abilities, peculiarities and quirks. As a teacher must treat teaching as something more than his bread and butter, he or she must also look beyond a student’s imperfections. Loving our students means being patient and understanding while seeking out their best interest. This is a tough duty but since teachers are expected to know better, we might as well act as if we do.
These are some of the lessons teaching has taught me and I am very grateful for having the chance to teach. It’s a vocation I’d love to get back on when opportunity presents itself in the future.~
Photos in the article: Blogger’s own
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