Why do I love teaching? Let me count the ways:
I see my students for 3 hours a day, every day for ten weeks. This builds a sort of relationship, and gives me the chance to see the students learn and grow. At the same time, I have the opportunity to get to know some of them better, depending on how open they are and the kind of connection we establish between us.
- Tangible returns.
I get to see the immediate results of my teaching. When a student gets what I’m trying to convey, when he or she grasps a new concept or begins to show improvement in language skills, I feel like I’ve accomplished something worthwhile.
I know I’m contributing to these students’ future. I’m helping them to build a stronger foundation in language so that they will be able to tackle their pre-university, diploma or degree studies with greater confidence and ability. However, I’m also investing in more than academics. At 18-20, they’re on the cusp of adulthood and there are many uncertainties because they’re at a crossroads, not only academically but also personally. Sometimes the amount of choices in front of them could seem overwhelming. Sometimes they may doubt themselves or their abilities. Sometimes they face a terrible amount of pressure from every side. I hope that by being there, I can be some kind of help in any way that they need, or at least I can inspire them in some small way so that they realise that life is not as scary and black-and-white as they think. I’ve been where they have been and I know what it was like for me.
- Constant variety.
Even though I may be teaching the same thing four times a year (four semesters a year), it’s never boring because the students are different. With their various personalities, perspectives, experiences, and learning styles, every semester is different. They respond to my lessons and my teaching materials differently. The composition of my class also is continually changing, with students from various countries coming together, so the class dynamics are unpredictable. It keeps me on my toes.
- Personal development.
As a teacher, I’m always learning. I can’t use the same techniques or even the same teaching materials for each class, because some classes are weaker and require more help, while others are stronger and can be pushed a little farther. I’m always thinking of ways to make my lessons clearer, to improve my teaching materials, to give the students more practice in key areas, to make the learning more relevant, accessible, and interesting.