By Foteini Lioliou,
One commonly held view is that teaching is one of the easiest jobs. But have you ever imagined what it takes to be a teacher? Having to focus on each and every student separately yet all at once?
First of all, teaching requires plenty of knowledge, degree, and certificates, therefore it requires effort. Of course, there are many requirements for other jobs as well but teaching is an equally demanding job. You need to study for years and years to succeed, and yet success is not guaranteed. In other words, you have to get into college, get a degree, and maybe participate in training courses and volunteer work at the same time. That is to say, your CV must be filled out before you begin teaching at schools. Nonetheless, it does not stop there. One of the most significant aspects of teaching is definitely an experience. At this point, you may ask how can experience be needed when someone just begins their career in that field.
The answer is that you do not have to be experienced but learn through experience. It might sound confusing, yet what I am trying to say is that children are the most important teachers. They teach you numerous things that you have never thought children could teach, such as patience, creativity, and most importantly kindness. Once you care about your students’ thoughts and opinions, you become a better teacher and thus, a better person. Children have beautiful and innocent minds, however, they need someone to guide them on how to use them and how to act in a mature way. Teachers not only provide knowledge of grammar and vocabulary, but they also provide knowledge of life. They suddenly become students’ role models and the way they act affects children’s behavior.
Another thing that needs to be considered is the variety of learning difficulties. For instance, many kids often deal with dyslexia or other common learning disabilities that do not allow them to fully comprehend or read the text. In this case, the teacher must find efficient ways to assist dyslexic kids and help them understand the essence of the text. One thing that a teacher must never forget is to treat dyslexic children the same way they treat the rest of the class. It is imperative to let kids know that they are not any different.
Additionally, teaching requires more than knowledge. Specifically, it requires performance abilities. To put it another way, kids usually find it hard to learn through just reading, and sometimes they prefer watching the teacher perform to listening to him read a book. Especially, younger children concentrate on what teachers have to show rather than what they have to read. For example, one interesting way to show students the word “sing” is to pretend that you are singing and then allow the students to speculate the word. In this way, it is less difficult to assimilate knowledge and learn new words.
“Patience is a virtue” older people often claim and yes they are right. When it comes to teaching, people must be very patient with children. Learning takes time and teachers must have enough time to provide students with all the information they need and give them time to absorb all the pieces of information. Some children are also slow readers and that is why the teacher must be patient and not make them rush. Being kind is another equally important virtue. Treating children in a right and fair way, without shouting at them is the key to winning their hearts. Children are very sensitive and they do not tolerate being embarrassed or punished.
That is to say, teachers must treat them with kindness and never let them feel left out or embarrassed for something they should not have done. Setting rules is also crucial as rules inform the children about acceptable and unacceptable behavior. But you need to be careful about how you establish them. Instead of saying, for instance, do not interrupt your classmate when he or she is talking, try to say listen to your classmate when they speak. Always remember that the use of positive words has a positive effect. A good idea would be to reward those who follow the rules in order to inspire others to behave in the same way.
Now, I will share some of the things I learned as a teacher. Children actually want to learn and teachers are there to help them figure out how to learn. To put it simply, teachers guide them on how to assimilate knowledge and learn in an effective but not hard way. Moreover, students get easily bored and you must find ways to keep them active and focused. Here my suggestion would be to either move around the class or ask students to read in a random order so as to keep them concentrated.
One thing I had to learn during my first year as a teacher is that it takes a lot to be one. A teacher must be patient, kind-hearted, and strong. They must have both the courage and the enthusiasm that is needed in order to perform in class. They will fail many times before they succeed. They will have to stay awake at night to find a new method to teach or a new idea to come up with in order to assist their students. They will not go out in their spare time because they will have essays to read. They will have to repeat the same thing over and over again to make sure that everyone has understood it. They will ensure that all of their students’ well-being is not only good but excellent. They will do anything to support their students and help them achieve their goals and dreams.
Only if you are brave and inspired enough to teach, you teach. Because teaching is not an “easy job”, it is in fact a vocation, a feeling that makes you walk towards the road of knowledge.
- How to become a teacher, publicservicedegrees.org, Available here
- What is teaching? A definition and discussion, infer.org, Available here