Why I became a teacher
My desire to become a teacher started when I was just a little girl. It was an easy decision. I had this urge to see children improve in every way – the way they are taught, the way they are prepared for life and have the very best brought out of them. I knew, even then, that if I wanted to see children perform at their very best, I needed to be there, helping them.
In a career spanning 20 years I have taught students at every level – kindergarten, primary, secondary and tertiary. Teaching students is a true pleasure. It is a vocation. I would go into school or university every day and be happy to help children improve. To see how quickly children can progress, to observe them in their rapid achievements has always been an exhilarating and inspirational experience.
I could have chosen any career: engineer, doctor, lawyer. Maybe I could have been an entrepreneur or inventor and changed people’s lives in that way. But I chose to become a teacher. For me, that has always been the best way to change the world.
Yes, a career as a teacher can be tough – there is a great deal to being a teacher than simply standing up in front of a class of students. There is an awful lot preparation and there can be an enormous amount of time spent on marking. There can be real frustrations working at any level in education but the rewards of seeing children soak up learning, being enthusiastic learners, being happy to listen, understand and improve is an indescribable pleasure for a dedicated teacher. Teaching is an addictive pleasure – and this overrides all the trials and tribulations of being a teacher.
I was extremely well-taught as a student. My tutors inspired and motivated me. They taught me skills that I have employed ever since. I am happy to say that those skills have resulted in excellent evaluations of any course I have ever taught. It gives me a huge amount of satisfaction to see students appreciate my conscientious teaching. Like any good teacher, I prepare well for my lessons. I try to present very clearly. I consider my students’ needs and, by all accounts, attend to them well. This is what any would-be teacher should aspire to. And if, like me, you get ‘bitten by the teaching bug’, this is exactly how you will approach your teaching. I was taught not to beat students into boredom just with facts. ‘Education’ means drawing the very best out of students – not knocking facts into their heads to be memorised and later forgotten.
You will, of course, develop your own teaching style but, whatever that style might be, it has to be adapted to the particular classroom. In every classroom there is a range of abilities and levels of interest. Your teaching style will have to be adapted accordingly. Your job is to imbue students with an enthusiasm to learn. An enthusiastic child who is properly taught will not only achieve their educational goals will also enjoy the whole process. Education will become something to enjoy, not endure.
Numerous articles have been posted here containing information which has most resonated with our readers and which will enhance the young teacher’s effective teaching. The choice of each article was based on a combination of factors. These include click rates, social shares, reader comments and other reader-engagement metrics. I have also written some things according to my experience to share with my readers.
Teachers will tell you that the job can be exhausting. It can involve long hours and lots of work which might be considered thankless but, talk to any teacher, and I am sure that they will tell you that they absolutely love their job. It might be considered to be underpaid, perhaps even undervalued, but that does not stop the multitude of enthusiastic teachers happily going about their day-to-day vocation of getting the very best out of their students.
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“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character - that is the goal of true education.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.