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Teaching: not just a job

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As we pass through our school careers every issue seems magnified. Such as which class we are put in to, who we sit next to and where we eat lunch and the teachers seem to be the only people who have nothing to worry about. All we see is how they turn up to class, with a lesson plan in hand, know each student’s name, individual process and personality and conduct class after class without problem. You could say that they make it look easy. That would be a mistake…

Teaching is not the sort of job where you can just turn up and muddle through. As a teacher you cannot have ‘off days’, feel a little under the weather or be in a bad mood. Every day you have to be on top of your game, organized, lively and enthusiastic because you will have a classroom full of faces looking at you and expecting you to be the same as you always are. Children are often better than adults at noticing that something is wrong. But unlike adults they are likely to call you out on it or at the very least respond negatively through bad behavior or laziness.

Teachers also cannot give up. It is almost guaranteed that in every class there will be a troublemaker, a child who, for whatever reason, does not want to listen and does not want to learn. A teacher has a responsibility to that child to try their best to get through to them and make them appreciate the importance of education, despite how much the child will try to push away. A great teacher is one that tries to go the extra mile, find out what the underlying problems are and try to iron them out. A teacher has to treat every student equally and fairly and not take bad behavior or rudeness to heart.

In other professions, the people you come into contact with, colleagues and customers, you will have an effect on their day-to-day professional lives but not have a great impact on their personal and future lives. In teaching this is completely different. The experience we have in school affects our future in terms of our personality, motivation and aspirations. Teachers have a big impact on the course of their student’s lives and those of the child’s family.

 

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