Another school year is about to finish and we are about to announce the successful students. Yesterday with some colleagues we had a chat and found out how much we knew about each kid.
Most of us know about their problems at home and unfortunately the majority of the kids do have problems. Some of them are real big problems which we can’t even help and because of these problems sometimes they give up.
Mostly on leaving they come and thank us for what we have done for them.
I don’t know which is good -continuing their higher school education but seeing their failure at the gate of the universities or their leaving school without a diploma to pursue a chance to survive in the real world.
One of the best things about being a language teacher is that we enter their lives easily. Sometimes they trust us and they write…
Whereas one of the worst things about being a language teacher is that we enter their lives easily. They write poems, compositions, articles that reveal too much about them. Sometimes they open their hearts and tell us about their secrets, problems, dilemmas and sometimes we too fail and can’t help.
Who are we anyway?
A former student thanked one of my colleagues last week saying that she realised how much the teacher had cared about her when she was at school, trying to persuade her for a university degree . She also had some family problems, the teacher couldn’t help her to continue her studies as the student had to work but maybe the teacher just helped showing that there were people who cared and thus would care about her.
So who are we anyway?
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Really liked this post. A sense of perspective is the most difficult thing to have and the most difficult thing to write about, but you really nailed it! Nothing else I can add, I think
An important reflection Eva. Thank you for putting it so well.
Sometimes we feel like ‘just’ teachers but the only way I can rationalise this is to think back to my own school days. I can think of just two teachers and I’ll name them here, just in case they ever search and find themselves – Pat Purser (my primary school teacher who helped me through migraines and bullying) and Rod Jonstone (my high school English teacher who switched me on to reading and was totally unconventional and passionate about what he did).
I don’t think you realise it at the time – but for me these people were more than ‘just’ teachers. They influenced how my life played out in their own way.
Never underestimate the influence you have on your students. I just think that unfortunately we are in a profession where the thanks rarely gets back to us.
I totally agree with you Emma. A teacher can really mean to something for some students. as you said my primary school teacher also influenced me a lot and I learned how to be a teacher from a biology teacher ı had in high school. And I will never want to do anything else than teaching. Although I know thank yous rarely come to us. If I believe from deep in my heart that I do what I should do as it must be done then it is a relief.
Thanks for your thoughts.
We are indeed just teachers, but sometimes we forget this. One can gain a lot by taking a step back from time to time I suppose.