3 years ago my coursemates asked me what I wanted to do after the graduation. They asked me whether I wanted to become a teacher, and without blinking, I directly replied, “NO.”
2.5 years ago, during my first interview, I was asked by my employer about my reason to become a teacher. I don’t remember what I said back then, good Lord, I might have to admit that I was bluffing that time or just answering for the sake of answering a question.
Many fresh graduates teachers often said when being asked the same question that they became a teacher because they wanted to touch lives, students’ lives.
I didn’t have that kind of thought in my mind. What I wanted to do was just teaching Math (not teaching the students). My focus here was Math, not people.
2 years ago, my first year becoming a teacher, I was depressed. “How am I supposed to teach Math to Grade 7 students who can’t even do simple multiplication without calculator?!! This is not even Math!!!”
Parents protested, I was called by more than 10 parents and was faced to a trial for which I was just sitting there listening to them condemning me for what I’d done wrong and for whatever they said I was supposed to do but I didn’t. Unacceptable for me, but I guess that is life. So I went on by saying loudly to myself (and to one of my students) that I would be crazy if by next year I was still teaching in this school.
Half a year later I was still there, continuing my job but was taken off from teaching Grade 7 students. In charge of 10, 11 and 12 was way more enjoyable to me. But the level of stress piled up as the exams approaching…. My kids did very well (not because of me obviously) and I decided to serve for one more year.
Last year, I realized that finally I have found the right reason…. I was no longer teaching Math, I was actually teaching students! It was harder in the sense of now I have to spot students’ weaknesses and try to fix it. Every one of them has different problems, one couldn’t solve problems properly under pressure, one had really bad handwriting and presentation that maybe only GOD and himself knew where to start and how to understand, one had no problem at all but kept making unnecessary mistakes in exams and so on.
So now, here I am…. I’m sending my kids off to their final exams. Don’t ask me about their chances to get good grades. But I was taught to have faith in them. Keeping them in prayers and everything else I guess will work out well. (Amen to that).
Anyway, my point is…. I don’t know from all these years whether I’ve successfully touched any young lives but I do know they have touched mine…. I have new directions and new objectives. It’s amazing seeing them speaking the same language as me. It’s beyond any words seeing them learning new things and actually amazed by the knowledge itself. You should have seen their faces full with amusement when they successfully solved something that they previously thought it was out of reach. Priceless…. And everyone must have had that kind of moments at least once in their entire years. (meaning, everyone experienced at least one “EUREKA!!!” moment). All of these things are again, something that I did not expect to see or to experience when I first decided to take this job.
I can only say that I’m grateful…. It’s like going to a war to save lives but in the end it turns out I am the one who have my life saved by the others. Being a teacher is not a dream job but it surely makes dreams come true….
Let me close this by quoting the serenity prayer to prepare me and them for their exams,
O God and Heavenly Father,
Grant to us the serenity of mind to accept that which cannot be changed; courage to change that which can be changed, and wisdom to know the one from the other, through Jesus Christ our Lord,