First off, I apologize for the week long silence. If you are part of my Facebook page you would have probably read a quick status about me going on an adventure to Taipei. I decided not to take my computer and was unable to blog. I then came back with a killer cold. Since, I am still recovering from that cold I will make you wait a little longer to tell you stories of my adventure, but you can check out my Instagram photos if you cant wait that long. I decided to post about being a teacher. I feel like I don’t do enough education topic posts. What do you think?
**Photo from quickmeme.com**
Being A Teacher…
1. is more than a job, it is a passion.
Not to bring anyone down, but I know several teachers who just hate teaching. If that is the case change your career. You are ruining it for the rest of us (students, teachers, and the administration). Teaching is hard. I am sure you have all heard that. Well, when the going gets tough the passion is sometimes the only thing keeping you there. It is sometimes the only thing that will make you fight for your students wellbeing when you are exhausted, you have lessons to write and papers to grade. Passion is a teachers strength. You need it!
2. is at times pointless.
“Wait what?” Yep, I know, kinda contradicting myself there. If you think that all a teacher does is teach then you are mistaken. Teaching is only part of the job description. Being a teacher you have to sometimes be a: Motivational speaker, a counselor, a parent-like figure, a nurse, an interrogator, a lie-detector, and sometimes (if you teach high schoolers) you’ll even need to be a verbal “punching bag”(to a point, teens don’t act they react). These are only some of the hats a teacher must wear. There is no manual or really any teaching course that can train you when to wear what. A teacher learns out in the field. Every class is different, every student is different. Sadly there is no cookie cutter method that works all the time.
3. means your character does matter.
Again, not to bash anyone, but I have known several teachers who lack their own integrity and ethics. If you are a teacher but you cant be an example to your students, then you are only hurting yourself. Students mimic teachers. By the end of the year, I can be walking down the hallways of the school I teach at and hear “myself” coming from the lockers. When you spend so much time with one person you take on certain traits of that person. Students do that in the classroom. They are so observant of the teacher that, before they know it, they are taking on certain characteristics of their teachers.
The scary thing about teaching is that your students see right through you. If you do not have character then they will feel that they do not need character. This means they will feel comfortable cheating, lying and bullying. (Of course, there are exceptions.)
4. does not mean judging your students.
Sometimes, if a teacher goes into a school or classroom for the first time, and they have the passion to influence their students, they can be judgmental. Students are people, they will have bad days and they will have good days. If a student has a bad day don’t judge them. Help them through it (this is were the counselor role comes in). Of course, if there are consequences for their actions then give them consequences but explain why they are receiving those consequences. Students are more open to learning from a teacher who shows understanding and support than from a strict teacher who has, in their eyes, no feelings.
Also as mentioned in #2, a teacher is sometimes a verbal “punching bag.” Students do not always react in the most appropriate way. As the teacher and the authority figure, students sometimes see you as a threat to what they want. So they say things they do not always mean. As a teacher we need to understand where the words are coming from and not react to the words but attempt to help the students through their frustration.
**NOTE: By no means am I saying to be a push-over. There is a fine balance. I have never allowed my students to miss-treat me and when they do vent their frustrations at me, I pull them aside and talk to them about their actions.
5. is not a walk in the park.
I am sure many of you know this already, but just in case, being a teacher is exhausting and stressful. A teacher has to balance their lives, their student’s lives and usually the administration’s lives, as well. We don’t just get to play with kids all day. We don’t get to simply say “read this page” and then go to our computers and scroll through our Facebook pages. We have to be present every minute of the work day.I have known of people, who have gone through their teacher training only to start their first year of teaching and hate it. They talk about how no one ever told them how hard it would be to be a teacher. Teaching is hard, but it is also INCREDIBLY rewarding if, as I have mentioned before (#1), you have passion.
There are hard days when you are a teacher. Sometimes more rough days then good ones, but in the end the students are all worth it. They are the future of the world. If you teach them more than what is in the book they will be amazing people and you will be able to look back and know that you had a part in making them amazing.