Saturday, December 16, 2006

My Experience as a Teacher

" A teacher? I can't imagine you to be a teacher; you don't even look like one ". Huh? Leesh how must the teacher look like?

I've been hearing remarks like these since the day I announced the big event: "I'll officially be working as a teacher" sometime in September 2004. However, it didn't take me much time to understand what they meant by saying that I lack "the look" of a teacher. It never occurred to me that just the way a model must have the look of a model, the teacher in order to be a good and successful teacher, must have "the look of a teacher" in addition to the other qualifications.

Becoming a teacher was not on my agenda. I was planning to do something else, to continue my studies either to get the masters degree or to start a new major when one day a friend called me saying that they need a new teacher at the school she works at, and she thought that I might be interested since I was still jobless.
"But you know, teaching is completely not included in my plan, and you know perfectly well that I think of teaching as being a very limiting job". I replied.
"But since you haven't decided on what are you going to do next, why don’t you just give it a shot? You may like it". She said.

I found myself on the following day heading to the school, filling a job application, set up a date for an interview appointment, that went smoothly when it took place, then followed by a couple of practical tests, until finally I found myself stuck by accepting the job offer.

I did not expect myself to make it, especially that I did not take it that seriously on one hand, and on the other hand because of the many rivals who applied to that job as well. It was much of a surprise to see the school principal pointing at me, asking me to accompany her to her office where I was told that I am the one who was chosen for the job.

Wow, I passed! Yalla, why not! Even if I didn't like the job, it will be one of the many experiences we go through in our lives. I was very relieved thinking that the difficult part , and here I mean the interview and the tests, was over. Very confident and exited, full of hopes and energy, I started my career as a teacher. Only to discover shortly afterwards that I am such a big loser and that people were right when they told me that I was not born to be a teacher.

"My goodness! Are these humans or devils? Children or monkeys?" I thought to myself only a few days right after I started to give classes. I don't remember that there were such students in our days. I didn't know that the days when the students used to respect and fear their teachers have become history. For these students, to have nice lenient teacher was a gift from heaven, a chance to have some fun during classes and turn the classroom into madraset el moshaghibeen.

I had great expectations, determined to take the students as friends, to come up with interesting creative methods to explain lessons, to find different ways to attract them to the subject and make them love it. But I was not given a chance to.
While I was doing my best to do that, and I couldn't even make myself heard ( A serious problem that a teacher may suffer from is not to have a loud blustering voice), they were busy chatting, playing, telling jokes and laughing, throwing objects under their girlfriends' feet so that they can steal a look at the girls' legs from below their skirts.

I stopped once amid all that tumult, stunned, shocked and disappointed, asking myself: What the hell am I doing here? At that moment I seriously thought of leaving the classroom, go home and never come back again.

I felt frustrated and offended, and I had to do something about it. Recovering from my shock, I had two choices to think about. I either give up and quit, or take the challenge and prove to myself and to the people that I can do it. I can be a successful teacher if I determined to, I can do anything I want with my will, I'm no loser! So, I made up my mind not to be a quitter, to work on it and to make it, and only then I can leave this job but with pride.

So, I decided to change the strategy, to leave my pleasant personality at home, and put on a frowned, strict, and mean mask the moment I enter the school. It wasn't an easy thing to do, but eventually I somehow managed to give the impression of a serious firm teacher. But of course I had no intention to continue consuming myself in this job like that and for so long. As soon as the school year came to an end, I decided to resign. And without explaining or elaborating, I informed the principal that I quit due to "personal reasons".

A few weeks passed after my resignation when someone told the principal about the real reasons that drove me to leave. She asked her secretary to contact me and inform me that she has something to talk to me about. She thought that I left the job because I found another one, or because I'm about to get married or something, but it didn't occur to her that I was thinking that teaching is not the right job for me. When I went to meet her, she told me how everyone faces many difficulties and obstacles when he first starts a new job, and how we should not give up, and that one learns from his faults, and that she absolutely believe that I am a good teacher which made her choose me from all the others who applied to the job, and it is so sad to know that I'm thinking of myself this way and that it saddens her to see me leaving, yada yada yada… El mohem, she managed to convince me to stay. Oh, No, not gain!

So, I returned. But my return was conditional. "I teach KGs, first or second graders only" I asked. "You got what you want" the reply was.

The second year, however, was not less challenging than the first one, for dealing with young kids was not as easy as I thought it to be. It was like starting a new experience all over again.

Throughout these couple of years, I learned a lot, I encountered many experiences, got to know all types of kids and parents. I learned that if I do not like my job I should learn how to like it and how to get acquainted with it, how to work on my deficiencies and develop my character and personality accordingly, how to make this job more interesting and more fun. I was careful not to drag myself into the limited narrow-minded world of pre school teachers. I learned a very important thing, how to raise kids, seriously! I feel that I now have a full idea on how to raise my future kids, I know how I want them to be, what should I do and what should I do not. Haven't I gone through this experience, I wouldn't have learned all these things alone. I learned how to deal with spoiled, disobedient, nervous and all types of kids. That was the full part of the glass, I always tend to ignore the empty one :D

Back to "the look" now, it took me two years to build up the character of a teacher because unluckily I lack the inborn qualities of this character :D. I was not born to be a teacher, remember? Maybe a superstar or a great artist or something hehehe.

I managed to make a strong, serious, strict teacher (yet kind to those who deserve it), out of myself. I managed to have the look that makes the kid tremble knowing that he's in a big trouble. Other teachers even threaten the kids to tell me in case they do anything wrong. I managed to keep things under control and the way I want them to be.

I can say now, in my third year as a teacher, that I am really enjoying it. Ironically enough, one finds his happiness and satisfaction in the place he is about to leave. I'm now spending my last months in the school and in the country, for I have to leave for real "personal reasons" this time.


Anonymous said...

You are not a quitter.Sometimes,leaving requires more courage..I can see u as a teacher,you have a convincing and pleasant style.I think the problem is with the kids these days.
Wherever you go,wish you luck and hope that you stay in touch with us.


Iman said...

This post caught my attention, for I recently had to go through the same experience.
You should be very proud of you accomplishment as a's one of the relatively few rewarding jobs out there, in which you feel that you had truly given something to someone that will be with them for ever.

I accepted a part time job as an adjunct instructor for the Communications/English Department at a college. The class started in August and met every Sunday for 3 hours...and thankfully, I just turned in the final grades on it's over! I didn't think I would have a difficult time proving myself as an instructor (teacher)simply because this is not my first time teaching...however, each class has its own unique identity comprised of the students enrolled in it. My students have always been close to me in age, and some of whom are even older. They are always amazed with the fact that I 'look so young and just like one of them.' as they put it. They even get too personl with their questions as far as how old I am, where I shop, where I hang out, whether I have a 'boyfriend' or 'still available.' You don't wanna completely shut them out but at the same time it's very crucial that the student/instructor relationship is always kept above everything else.

overall, I enjoy teaching (even if it's part time) but working full time in a field relatively different (I'm a Project Manager)takes away from being able to enjoy teaching fully! By the time the week is over, I'm too drained. I considered leaving Project Management and taking on teaching full time...we'll see how that goes.

Good luck and best wishes with your new life:)

Dr@ma Div@ said...

yeah... you should be proud of yourself.... but i dont think i can be a good teacher tho... i also know that I dont have enuff patience and tolerance to deal with kids on a daily basis.

Good Luck!

Weddo... said...

Have I ever told you that my dream was to be a teacher? or a school principle lol I surely have that "teacher's look", I guess O_o my imaginary students were scared to death when I'm mad hehe

Now back.. back.. it's so great how you didn't quit it, that's quite an inspiration miss Nana! You were so smart, coz this won't just prove to others that you can do whatever you want, but it shows you that no matter what, no matter where I can do it 10/10.. I'M THE BEST :cool:
So wish you the best and a happy, stunning and great life.

Best wishes :)

Anonymous said...

ok iffft after long search thanx nana :d

i loved the article.. I have never thought to work as a teacher before, but recently i started to feel it s ok, why not.. I used to think that it s a limited job and that u may accomplish nothing in ur life.. but it deserves a second thought :)

SimSim said...

as I said before dealing with kids is way much better than dealing with grown ups ... I loved teaching but it's not an easy job like what every body think cuz kids might ask u things old people don't know and u have to be ready for their questions... they r very smart and spontaneous ... really if i got a job in teaching with high salary I won't say NO :P ...

nice posts nanoosh :hug: best of luck

Jood said...

I have never imagined myself as a teacher, does that mean I'm going to be one !! :mal5oom:

wish you the best o good luck in everything you do :hug:

sharifo said...

ghareeeb ?!!
I hate teachers by sixth sense, bas you are not a teacher kind of person...I donno, fe moshkela !!
Nice post, bas bardo I hate teachers,,7ada bemza3 walad kaf be talet ebteda2i ya allah !

Hala said...

I loved reading your post, I like to hear about people's experiences. It sure was not a waste of time or effort because you learned something, and you taught something as well.

I wish you the best of luck Nana :)

By the way, I really like your new look; it is cute ;)

Nana said...

Thank u all for ur comments,
I'll be back later to reply :)

Nana said...

yeah, the problem is with kids these days, they're getting worse with each passing year, and making things more difficult on us teachers.
Thanx a lot :)

it's one of the relatively few rewarding jobs out there, in which you feel that you had truly given something to someone that will be with them for ever.
very true!
It was nice reading your reply and sharing your experience in teaching. Thanx for ur wishes, I wish u too the best of luck. :)

Drama Diva:
thank you :)
yeah teaching needs a lot of patience and tolerance, and the one who lacks them would never want to be a teacher.

No this is the first time I know that you wanted to be a teacher. and I don't think that you have the look or the personality, you're too kind to be a teacher :D
thanx sweets, I wish u the same.

ya ahlan ya ahlan, nawwart :D
well, like all the other jobs, it has its advantages and disadvantages. thanx for stopping by dear.

Rana said the same thing just yesterday, she told me that no matter how hard teaching is, it's still better than dealing with grownups!

You're definitely gonna be one :D

lool, believe me some of them deserve it :D

thanx dear :)