There is this question that keeps coming: Who is your favourite teacher and why? No matter who you ask, the same type of answer always prevails, which is: “My favourite teacher is _____. And this is the impact that they made in my life …!” I am becoming more aware that it is almost NEVER about the content. Sure they were the English teacher, or maybe they were the Accounting teacher or even the Science teacher. None of that matters if they are not making a significant and close to heart impact in your life. The subject and its content seems to only be a means to connect to you. Think about it, did you not do better in their subject simply because you knew they cared for you and had your best interests at heart?
Ask yourself right now: Who is your favourite teacher and why? Then come back to this first paragraph above and tell me if I am wrong.
This past week I got to dive into the first hand experience of being a teacher, and it was not even the full experience yet, I still have 6 more weeks to find out more. I am just getting started.
Here are snippets of my thoughts this whole week:
I think anyone can sense how my mood changes as the days progress. It is really a rollercoaster, good days are there as well as bad, days that you cannot really describe so you just laugh it off, exhausting days, even days where it got all blurry and I could not remember if it was the 3rd of 4th day. But then it all comes down to one thing, feeling fufilled and knowing that it is all worth it!
Just to put this week into better context, it was very much mostly about me finding my feet and making sure that I am well connected and integrated into the system. It was also about figuring out where can I insert myself. If you have every been the “new kid” at a school, not new from January, because many people are new around that time, but rather new in the middle of the year, when everyone looks settled and you are just that sore thumb sticking out. That was partially me. Some people are fortunate to have a kind student who will take care of them and some are not so lucky and they have to figure it out on their own in the deep end of the ocean.
I was one of the lucky ones, especially when I compare to some of my peers, those who dealt with fights and even baboons as school (literally), I would say I was definitely fortunate to land up in a place that embraced me with open arms. That is very rare in our South African context. Time and time again we hear of teachers feeling overwhelmed and unsupported and under-paid. Like feeling the weight of the world on your shoulders, screaming for help and having no one hear you. That is how we lose educators with amazing potential to do amazing work because the system is not always so embracing. What can be done to make things better? [We’ll grapple with this at some point]
On this point of amazing teachers with amazing potential. This week I got to experience things that I would have never known about as a high school learner. The level of intensity and behind the scenes work that each teacher puts in for preparation to ensure success in their students’ academics was mind blowing. Even myself, the late nights just to plan for the next day were gruesome, but when you see the lighbulbs on their faces, it really places a smile on your heart.
To answer my own question from before; My favourite teacher(s) (yes, plural) were either in Language, Commerce, or Mathematics. They were all different with varying personalities, but I valued the way in which they accepted me, shaped my views on life as well as saw my potential and helped me see it as well. I valued the connection beyond the classroom, each of them brought that to me in different ways, some of them still even today and for me that is nothing short of beautiful!
Hope you enjoyed that. Add your thoughts and or favourite teacher answers into the comments section. Press the like button and share with others and subscribe to this blog.
Thank you! Love, light and appreciation for you!