A teacher’s work

Student teacher in China teaching children Eng...

Okay. I’m not only traveling and taking the Spanish siesta here and there (I wish I could take naps); I am also learning…a lot. And I just wanted to say that being a teacher is not exactly an “easy” task.  You see, I never underestimated the work of a teacher before—some are always better than others. It’s just that now I’m able to see how much effort a teacher (who really cares) can put on her work.

I ’m not even a teacher and I feel the pressure. Alright, I should clarify: I am not under any kind of pressure—I don’t even have to go to any official meetings! But I still have to get prepared for class. Is this a good topic? Will they get bored? Am I doing this right? I’m always wondering. I want to make sure that I am doing the right thing.

The first few days, when I was just getting to know the students, I literally just showed up there, stood in front of the class and said whatever American-related stories popped up in my head. (We also went by the books they were given, of course, and still do.) And that sort of worked, but they’re too young—and restless—and it gets boring and old. Now, I am into it. I am feeling it. Now, I know the students (who learns faster, who’s slower, who’s creative, who’s trouble, and all those sort of things). Now, we are having fun.  Sadly, still no sign of me wanting to become a teacher, but I like it—if that makes any sense.

For the time being, I want these kids to learn whatever it is that I’m teaching; even if they’re learning things with an accent…I don’t care, as long as they’re learning.

Learning about other cultures opens another door for you. You’re one step ahead of the others and, in the end, the most important thing is communication.

My point is simple: good teachers should be rewarded and appreciated a bit more for their efforts. And I don’t just mean monetarily (though that’s never a bad idea, especially when so many of them around the world are ridiculously underpaid).

Before I even attempted to teach, I knew it was not the easiest job; not because of the job itself, but because you’re putting words into someone’s head. You may cause an impact in somebody’s life (and I can speak for experience). It is a powerful responsibility that some teachers have. I have never forgotten the wonderful teachers that I’ve had and I am able to appreciate them even more now that I am in their shoes.  I just hope that parents and students, as well as the government of every country, realize the true worth of a teacher.

If you’re familiar with Jersey Shore, one of their cast members got paid in an hour what a part-time teacher would get paid in a year, all just to basically make an appearance at Rutgers University in New Jersey and tell the students to get in trouble and get wasted, like they do on their show. Now, that’s a disgrace.

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My first day teaching (sort of)

Seoul American Elementary School Good Neighbor...

Image by USAGYongsan via Flickr

(This post is from October 4th.)

Who would’ve thought I could teach?! Well, not too well I’d have to say.

Today was my official first day at school. I am teaching children of a variety of ages; from Pre-K to sixth grade. I love kids and these kids are so extremely cute! I absolutely fell in love. Just like dogs, kids normally like me, too. It’s a mystery to me, but this I can proudly say. 😉 (Too bad I do not want to be a teacher.) Of course, there are some students who are a little wild sometimes, just a little, but after several commands they listen.

I always enjoy the littlest children; they’re so cute, so cuddly and so much fun. But the older ones are also adorable. There seems to be something about me that fascinates them — seriously, the way that some of them listen and look at me is not normal. They don’t intimidate me though; I think they just thirst for knowledge.

Yesterday, in preparation for today, my coordinator and another teacher showed me around and introduced me to the rest of the staff and all the kids. I visited about ten different classrooms (repeating things like my nationality and my likes each and every time). They asked for my name, where I’m from, my favorite food, etc. By the end of the introduction, my throat was begging for water. The staff members are really nice people and they have been very helpful so far.

In terms of the Spanish “ways” I must say that I was a little surprised at first when I saw how teachers teach their students here. I walked into a room yesterday where a kid was standing inside a corner facing the wall. For a few a seconds I thought, what is he doing? But then I almost immediately realized that he was being punished and that he was in some some sort of “time-out”. At another class, a teacher shook a child—about 8 years old—to make him stop talking. It shocked me because I know you can’t do that in America…I think?

In any case, I do not agree with the way they discipline the kids at school, but I guess I have to respect their culture. Open mind, I tell myself.

So far I’m really enjoying talking to the kids. They look clueless most of the time because I have to speak to them in English, but I’m now using more physical movements and facial expressions so that they can better understand. One girl keeps asking in Spanish, “Do you speak any Spanish?” I said that I don’t (doing as I was told) and she then said, “But you have understood what I said.” ha ha! It’s torture, but it’s for their own good. That’s a proven good way of learning another language.

I think it’s funny though because I obviously have this accent, you know…

Anyway, I also got my schedule yesterday and it looks awesome! I will work Tuesdays through Thursdays from 9:00AM to 2:00PM. That means that I have a four-day weekend (or four and a half) to do whatever I want in Spain and tra. Me encanta!