Teaching actually brings me joy.
I mean, it’s not something I really HATE to admit, but I’ve been trying to avoid being trapped in a classroom for the rest of my life, and so the concept of enjoying teaching has been pretty repelling to me, but I really like ESL students.
They’re so polite, and they actually want to learn.
I like teaching people who actually WANT to learn.
Working with kindergartners and young children who were forced into after school programs so much gave me a bitter view of teaching. Hearing stories from teachers about all their classes and dealing with classroom management, and the movies and stories about inspirational teachers who went to the run down high school and turned the lives of their wanna-be thug students around had altered my view of teaching. They had instilled a false belief in me that I had to be this amazing entertainer who kept my students attention and motivated them to learn simply by the merit of my own amazingness as an instructor.
I am not that amazing.
I mean, the potential might be there, and someday I might be able to turn some uninspired student’s life around by simply being there for them and showing them that I care, but right now, I can barely be inspired to do my own homework.
I need students who actually want to learn.
And so I like ESL students. Adult students. People who are going to school because they want to go to school. Working with them, and actually being able to help them and not feeling like I’m just contributing to the misery in their life by giving them another homework assignment to deal with, brings me joy and makes me see teaching in a better light than I think I have seen it in a while.
I can see teaching as actually helping people, and not forcing them to live up to outrageous requirements that have little to no application to their real life experiences.
Teaching English I can actually see the benefit in my students’ lives. I can actually see how they are better able to communicate with me, with each other. I can see how they can improve their lives and their futures, getting better jobs and better everything.
So, I like teaching…