Since I’m going to Peru and Colombia this summer, which I am super excited about, I’ve started teaching English to earn some cash and my respect for teachers has grown tenfold.
I teach one pupil twice a week, (though I want to teach more, so if anyone knows people who want to learn English in BH, hit me up!) and after every class I leave as tired as if I had spent all day in the library.
Whenever I try to share the joy of languages, I remember why teaching definitely isn’t the profession for me, but it is satisfying to see someone improve, to remember a word you taught them last time and be able to talk more fluently.
It always makes me think of the amazing teachers I had, not that all my teachers have been great, but the ones who have have been truly brilliant. The first teacher I remember as so patient with three year old me, even though I barely spoke a word of French, all through primary I had teachers who blew my mind with knowledge; I remember when I was eight my teacher told us that the sun was huge, much bigger than our blackboard and how awestruck I was with this discovery. I had maths teachers who realised that I could do their subject, and found different ways of teaching me how to do things, if I hadn’t had Spanish teachers who encouraged me, I would never being doing my degree!
I know many people have been let down by the education system, both girls and boys. From my 19 years being in school, (how has it been that long?!) I’ve noticed that boys play up more obviously causing teachers to come down on them and tell them off all the time, up to even telling them they’re useless and can’t do what they want to do. Girls tend to curl up in their shell and not make a fuss even if they’re confused, don’t understand or missed what the teacher was saying, so they can be easily overlooked.
I suppose I’m trying to say to have patience, always. This is coming from someone with a notorious lack of patience, but teachers change everything; the way you see yourself, your school, your choices later in life. So just take all the deep breaths and try not to let anyone down.
I just reread what I wrote, and I need a reminder of why school teachers get paid so little. Any ideas?