Don’t Be A Teacher If . . .

Having taught for more than five years, I have learnt a lot of things. This Teacher’s day when a lot of my old students wished me I was pleasantly surprised to read their messages. When they wrote ‘only because of you I was able to …’ followed by the things they believe they have learnt from me, I knew that I have been a good teacher. 

A few of my students have already got a job after completing their studies, some are doing their internship while some are still studying and a few are studying to become a teacher.
With my experience of being a teacher and then an academic author, there are certain things that I want to share with anyone and everyone who aspires to become a teacher:
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  • Don’t become a teacher because it is less time consuming. Become a teacher only if you are willing to dedicate whatever time is assigned to you only to your students.
  • Don’t become a teacher because still some people believe that it is an easy job for women as they can be home by 2:30 p.m. Become a teacher because you are willing to dedicate your life to influence a lot of young minds positively.
  • Don’t become a teacher if you feel that at any point you will be saying that you cannot pay attention to every child individually in a class of forty fifty students. Because if you can’t do that then it means you are not prepared and dedicated.
  • Don’t become a teacher if every time you are given an innovative idea to make class more interactive, you are going to say that this way you will loose control over the class. One does not become a teacher to control the children, one becomes a teacher to encourage the students to break the limits set by the society.

Teaching is not just a “job” because if this is what you consider it then you are not fit for this “job”. When we become teachers we literally have the future of these little kids in our hands. They are like soft clay that will mold itself the way we would want it to.

Our reaction to their questions, our answers to their doubts is going to create the personalities of these little ones. Our smile in the class ensures them that we are happy to be with them, our willingness to go beyond our “job profile” to help them is going to build the future of our nation.

Yes, kids are going to behave in certain ways, they are going to be difficult to manage and yes, even a lot of parents would also be snobbish, they would not be as good as one might expect them to be with a teacher and believe you me when I say this because I have experienced a lot of things. Good parents, not so supportive parents, over ambitious parents, chilled out parents, too chilled out parents . . . you are going to deal with all of them. Please, do not let that affect the kind of teacher you want to be.

I have seen the most difficult of students turn into one of the best students I have ever had.

It takes time, and a lot of efforts and love for what you are doing.

Be ready to give your students the liberty to ask questions. Not all students are extroverts or can ask questions easily, many of them will be shy or might feel that their question is silly, it is your responsibility to make them comfortable enough to ask as many questions as they want, it is your responsibility to encourage them for every small effort they put into their work. You can’t even imagine how far this encouragement goes.

A teacher’s words leave an everlasting impression of a child’s mind. Make sure that your words are always positive , that your criticism is positive and is accompanied by a positive solution to help your student. Be there for every student and please do not label them, ‘good learner’, ‘slow learner’, ‘average learner’ they are all learners and you should have different strategies to teach different students in ways that suits them the best. Some might need just the explanation to the concept, some might need some extra revision, some might need the repetition more than twice. Please be willing to do so, never let them feel awkward while asking questions.

The early years of the students decide the kind of personality they are going to possess or develop. Please make sure that each day as you exit the classroom you have the satisfaction in your heart and the kids have a smile on their faces.

Teaching is not easy, it is not even ‘good money’ but a teacher is the one who is with a child during the most vulnerable years of his/her life. It is a very important responsibility.

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