So you’ve decided to become a teacher? Are you passionate enough to deal with the daily struggles of an educator? Do you think you have what it takes to be the shaper of young minds? If you believe you have what it takes, then here are some reminders of what it truly means to live the life of a teacher.
Language and Communication
A teacher must be fluent in not only teaching a subject but also in using language as a means of communication. If you’re planning on teaching abroad, you need to understand that they can’t always adjust to your limited knowledge of their mother tongue.
You would have to learn to speak to them on their terms as well. A teachers’ language workshop should be very helpful in this regard because you can learn both the culture and the tongue from experts and natives who share the same passion as you do.
Patience and Discipline
Teaching students of any age is much like varying degrees of parenting. Children will always act like children, but you need to exert even greater effort in controlling yourself because they technically aren’t your kids.
You, to them, are another adult who wants to teach them something they may or may not be interested in learning. The same concept translates pretty closely to teenage students and even adults. They will not always be nice or happy about their lessons, and some will struggle.
While it’s true that no one is above reproach, teachers are often expected to be excellent examples of decency and character. What makes a decent and upright educator in these modern times, though? For most schools, it’s simple.
Just have no criminal record, don’t associate with known and active gangs or criminal activities, and stay away from excessive drinking or recreational drug use. If you’re going into a religious school, such as a Catholic school, however, you are also expected to uphold the specific standards represented by such an institution.
While you may be the authority figure in the classroom, you aren’t necessarily the most important one there. Your knowledge, passion, and fierceness must be capable of stepping aside in the name of wisdom and humility.
Sometimes, students will be much smarter than you. They can show a surprising level of alacrity and learning that even surprises many academics. When this happens, what do you do? Do you denounce their knowledge as pride? Do you call them disrespectful because they refute the data you’re providing? Is it really disrespect or a need to know and discover? The hammer may be in your hands, but the rules aren’t always in black and white.
Becoming a teacher doesn’t happen overnight. Simply gaining the credentials necessary for the position won’t be enough to make you a memorable and respected member of the classroom.
If you want to be one, you have to accept that there will be good days and bad days. Take each student as they are, but take no flak from them either.