This statement really annoys me, I know that if it hadn’t been for some great teachers, then I would not have had the courage or knowledge to make the choices that I did. Not every decision I made was correct or appropriate for me, but a solid education has given me the skills to make the best of a bad situation and be confident enough to make the necessary changes.
Teaching is more than book-learning, more than memorizing facts for the next round of exams, it equips the recipients with the skills to grow both personally, socially and at work.
If you are lucky enough to find a subject that you enjoy and are good at, then the positive benefits that you find there will help you through the difficult times, it inspires you to fulfil your ambitions and aim for the stars.
Teaching gets a lot of criticism these days, especially as we seem to be driven by results and targets. However it is during our formative years at school that we begin to develop our interests and shape our personalities. Surely anyone who works to that end must be given more credit than the statement above conveys.
I have been teaching Spanish for the last 8 years, to adults ranging in age from 25 to 75, each with very different lifestyles and requirements. Enabling them to learn at their own pace and to conquer their fears is not always easy, it certainly involves lots of preparation and planning before the classes even start and continual assessment throughout. It is definitely not a ‘one size fits all’ job and certainly not for the faint-hearted or for any thinking of an easy life.
It’s not all hard work either, my students share their life experiences and constantly entertain me with their tales. They want to learn, unlike teaching children who are not always so keen. It’s a whole new ball game, but just as rewarding. So, when a student of 72 years young recently passed a GCSE course with a B grade, it was the highlight of the week. His success story appeared in a local newspaper and we were all celebrating for quite some time.
As I said, teaching is an honourable profession and although I would not consider myself a professional by any means, in my case, it has been an honour and a privilege to share my own interests with willing participants, and more importantly new friends!
Consequently, I am very glad that I can and do teach!