I don’t want to be a teacher by Vladimira Michalkova

Part of the series From my PLN


I wanted to be an archeologist or work with animals. Well, definitely anything really dynamic, changing and what would include my constant learning and development – I do love learning! I studied Teaching English as a Foreign Language but during the last year of my studies I came to conclusion that, actually, I don’t want to be a teacher. I couldn’t imagine not learning anymore and rigorously (and willingly, as I see in many cases) follow given teaching materials no matter who is in your class or what is going on behind the walls of your school . Well, now, five years later, I still don’t want to be a teacher!

Yes, I don’t want to be a teacher!

Not, if that means a person coming in the classroom, sitting down and starting a lesson with words like “open your book…”.

Not if that means a person always complaining about the students and using red pen to correct their works just to show them how much they still need to learn.

Not if that means a person who thinks that teaching is a job where no further development or learning is actually needed.

Nevertheless, I have a job I would never change!

“By learning you will teach; by teaching you will learn”

Latin Proverb

I have found the joy and happiness in the work where I can (hopefully) inspire, motivate and support the learning and exploration of the opportunities that are offered around us. You may call it a moderator, facilitator, mentor or just a teacher if you still insist. And besides that, I have discovered that this job involves constant learning, developing and creativity. I guess, I couldn’t wish for moreJ.

On my way, I have met many fellows with similar beliefs and opinions and as I go I try to influence and inspire (again hopefully) those (teachers as well as students) who find it difficult to look for the inspiration on their own.

So, I do not think of myself as a teacher (at least not the generally accepted connotation described above). And what does it mean for my students?

Well, I guess, they would describe it as “expect unexpected”. In my experience, they are usually shocked at the beginning of term but eventually get used to that and welcome any kind of “experiment” in learning a new language. I admit that I often fail or come across obstacles on my way but after all it teaches me something new (again and again).

One of the most fascinating aspects in all this experimenting is that I gain really a lot from it all, more than I could hope for. There are times when I have to look for and reveal the skills I didn’t actually know I possess (singing and acting in my case J – still working on storytelling, especially telling the jokes which I am terrible at).

Another one of the amazing things is that using all those styles, variations, techniques and possibilities I can help my students see what is around them and what they can actually use for their benefit but also help them find their own way on the path of learning (which neither starts nor finishes in the classroom).

Yes, I don’t feel like a teacher and the people in my classroom are certainly not the only ones to be called learners.

If you would like to get a notion of what is going on in my classroom these days, see the following links – my RECENT experiments with adult classes.

technology related activities easy to use in various situations

 “I never teach my students. I simply provide the situations in which they can learn.” Einstein


I want to thank Vladka who kindly accepted to write a blog post for my blog. I’m so happy that I had the chance to meet her and I’m so happy that I have wonderful people in my PLN to accompany me during my journey.

vladkaI am an English language teacher in Kosice, Slovakia. I have MA in Teaching English as a Foreign Language and Ecology from University of Presov in Slovakia and certificate in Teaching Business English from English Language Centre in Brighton. I am trying to motivate and inspire my students so that their learning do not finish with the bell in the school. My favourite areas are Learner Autonomy, Homework in the 21st century and Teacher Development. I blog about my teaching experience http://vladimiramichalkova.edublogs.org/ and you can also follow me on Twitter @vladkaslniecko.

I was chosen as a winner of Diana Eastment Commemorative Award 2011 for a lesson plan using technology in the classroom.
7 comments on “I don’t want to be a teacher by Vladimira Michalkova
  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention I don’t want to be a teacher | A Journey in TEFL -- Topsy.com

  2. Hey Vlada and Eva,

    Guess what, I didn’t want to be a teacher either!

    In fact, when I was a little girl it was used as a taunt by my Mum who said “You’re so bossy, you’re going to grow up to be a teacher.” and by my Dad who’d add “You’re so so bossy that you’re going to grow up to be a headmaster…”

    Later on, in High School, we had to do some kind of careers day activity and we all got sent out to do stuff, my teachers said “You’re so creative, you’re going to grow up to be a teacher.”

    I hated all of them for saying this, me, why I wanted to grow up to be a writer… an awarding filmmaker…

    Hmmmmmmmmmmm…. they were all right. And now, no matter how much I write and work on academic projects I can’t leave the classroom, it’s a place of joy.

    Thanks for sharing your wonderful post and thoughts on being an educator.

  3. Wow!
    I think this all the time! Reading this, and training to become a ‘teacher’, I would love to see you in a classroom- your lessons sound so inspiring! I try to do the same- and as Einstein suggests- to provide the students with those opportunities for learning and hopefully spark something off so they’d like to learn without me there to guide them. I make ALL my own resources, regiment is just not me, plus, I’m a little obsessive about being in control, perhaps the reason I fell into ‘teaching’ in the first place. I still don’t want to be a teacher but perhaps if I call myself something else then I will feel more comfortable.
    I’m sure a lot of others out there will be able to relate to this post. Thank you!

  4. Being a teacher in a dull and regimented way is not very inspiring or rewarding for both student and teacher alike. As Einstein says it’s all about creating a stimulating environment to motivate your learners.


  5. Vladimira, U rock!

    But we already knew that. 🙂

    Funny… i said the same kind of thing after leaving college… “i don’t want to ever study again’.

    From that day on though I’ve studied everday…the university of life is a wonderful place to learn, and so is being a ‘teacher’ in the classroom. Call it what we may, it can be such a rewarding role.

    Glad to see some of the things you’ve been doing in class too.

    Rock on, sweetheart!

  6. I think it’s sad that you all have a negative connotation with the word, “teacher.” Why not call yourself teachers and change the way people perceive that word! I am proud to call myself a teacher, and that means so many different things to me.

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