Sometimes, I feel I whine too much about my job and I may come off as not liking it at all. Yes, it’s stressful. Yes, I have lots of grading to do (there’s yet another pile waiting for my appraisal as we speak). Yes, there are usually too few hours in the day to get everything done. However, it also tons of fun and it can be very energizing. Therefore I think it’s time for a positive post on what I like about teaching. Here are some of the things I like most.
1.) Developing course materials
It’s so much fun to come up with fun new exercises that engage students to do more or different things with the materials you’re trying to teach. Or to just come up with a new course or new elements to a course. When ti comes to making up exercises and doing them in class and see them work is the most satisfying thing I’ve ever experienced.
2.) Making tests/ exams
Together with developing course materials one of the tasks which take up the most time, but are fun to do. It’s great to find an assignment for students to do, assess the difficulty of it and tweak it till it will be difficult enough for students to be a challenge, yet still manageable. It also makes teaching easier: when you know what you want from your students you can lead them to that end goal. This is especially a perk when teaching weaker students.
3.) Teaching itself
Getting in front of a class and talking to a group of people about something you love. That’s pretty much what I do on a daily basis. You get to put a lot of yourself in your classes (depending on the place you work at). You can share as much and as little as you like and finding the right balance takes a while, but is very very worth it. Sharing parts of yourself means your students will be able to see you as a person, rather than just a teacher and a good relationship with your students is vital to a good work atmosphere in class.
4.) Having more than just one job
I don’t just teach. I’m also an assessor, placement/ internship supervisor, and part of the team who set up the internationalization policy. Every year I taught other classes than English and last year, I was involved with the communication center and went to a high school to promote my school. Sometimes these extra tasks can lead you away from teaching your actual job, but it certainly makes the job a lot more rewarding. I get to use all of my talents and expand my knowledge at the same time
5.) Good pay & benefits
The pay is good when you start your career as a teacher. It’s higher than when you start in any other company, the only downside is that your salary doesn’t grow very fast. You have tons of vacation! 10 weeks to be exact. Even though the set vacations can sometimes be a bit of a drag, since you can’t pick your own dates, it is of course heaven to have 10 week of vacation in a year. Other than that, my job fully pays my train tickets to and from work, allows me to get money back on my gym membership and allows me to work from home if necessary.
See, all in all, it’s really not that bad and well worth the stress and complaining!