On Teaching and Being a Teacher

13 Oct 2014


I have mixed feelings about teaching. Since I was a kid, I had always wanted to be a teacher. I often played school with my friends, with me being the teacher and my friends as the students. My mum taught me basic math since I was 3, so when I turned 7 I was already better at math than my friends; so naturally, I taught them math in our "class". I really enjoyed playing teacher. Whenever grown ups asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I said "A teacher!" with confidence.

After graduating from English education programme and getting my degree in teaching, I still had mixed feelings about whether I wanted to be a teacher or not. Turned out, I no longer enjoyed teaching as much as I did back when I was 7. College has taught me that being a teacher is not a simple task. Teaching deals with social interactions (e.g. teaching in front of the class, communicating personally with the students, facing the parents, etc.) and paperworks (e.g. lesson planning, grading students' works, creating and grading tests, writing reports, etc.), both at which I am not good at all. If you really know me, you know that I am socially awkward and a bad procrastinator. I'm not a suitable person to be a teacher.

And it was clearly shown! I resigned from a teaching job after just two months of employment. Then I got another teaching job at a high school and then I yet again felt frustated. I complained a lot. I took even the smallest things as signs that I had to resign and got another job somewhere else. I saw it like the whole sky was covered with dark clouds and I couldn't see the silver linings.

Since I've just started on August and I felt like it was wrong if I resigned in the middle of the semester, I decided to stay. At least just for this semester. I thought I'd resign at the end of the semester. I felt that the momentum would be right because at the same time, I'm getting married.

Perhaps that decision was the best I've ever taken, because as the days go by, I started to enjoy being a teacher at this school. I love the students. I love being the authority figure during the teaching activity. I enjoy grading their tests (I procrastinate every now and then, but when I am grading them, I really enjoy it). I've grown to be used to my schedule. And while I still need to work on my social skill when it comes to interacting with (older) fellow teachers, I've managed to reduce my anxiety and started talking to several teachers. I still keep my mouth shut most of the time, but I am not as awkward as I used to be and I've grown to care less about what others might think about me as long as I'm not bugging them profesionally. I've grown up a lot since the first time I stepped in to that teachers' room. It's not too much if I say that I'm proud of myself, isn't it?

I still don't know if I will resign at the end of the semester or not. I'm going to move out of my parents' house anyway, so I may live far from the school. It hasn't been settled yet, so I'm still open for other options. But as for now, I think I'm going to survive.

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