For some people it takes ages to figure out what they want to be when they grow up. For me, it was a no brainer. At least, once I hit my teenage years. When I was little I wanted to be a writer, a flight attendant and a dancer, but once I turned 14 – 15 and I became a bit more serious about what I really wanted to do with my life, those options were all thrown out the window: I like to write, but am not creative enough, I’m too short for becoming a flight attendant and I’m not good enough a dancer to be a pro. So then what?! Well I was left with two options.
Those two options were teaching and journalism. I was torn between both until I finished my English studies when I tried my hand at both. I first took some journalism courses getting the basics down and entered an internship later that year just to find out that journalism wasn’t for me. It’s all about dumbing down information and feeding it to the masses and for some reason that just didn’t sit too well with me. Right around the same time, I landed my first teaching job and loved it. Later on, I went on to get my teaching degree and that’s when I knew: this is it.
But then why a teacher? Out of the million jobs I could have possible chosen why would I want to be a teacher? I have alluded to this before, but I like working with people. And what I like about working with people is that as a teacher you work with them, for them and alongside them. Students aren’t just empty beings that will absorb anything you say. They are people with individual needs, learning styles and personas and as a teacher you have to deal with all of them.
I obviously did not know this when I was 14 going on 15, but I distinctly remember seeing myself as a teacher. The idea of transferring knowledge and skills to others was what attracted me most and it helped that I had a few teachers that I deem important enough to state as providing me with life changing or eye opening experiences. It’s about helping people in many senses of the word and if I can only change one person’s life through my entire teaching career I know it will have been worth it.
Another reason that attracted me was the fact that I would be able to do what I enjoy most: telling stories. I just love explaining things and talking in general. I have been enjoying it all my life. I’m a major chatterbox to the extend that it drives some people crazy and now I have a job where I get to use my talkative nature to my advantage. Naturally, shutting up and letting students do the talking is most definitely part of it, but you simply can’t go around telling them a few things here an there.
Not unimportant, teaching does not only involve talking about just anything, it involves talking about one thing I’m passionate about: The English Language. I loved anything having to do with English when I was a teenager. I drank up every vocab list I got and learned grammar rules by heart religiously. Call me crazy, but that’s what I was doing and that’s what I’m still doing. I also like the things that are involved with English as a whole, like books, literature, history, culture etc. but I’ve always been a LANGUAGE girl more than anything else. My favorite topics to teach are thus grammar & language skills such as letter writing and doing presentations.
Despite the fact that I love my job and feel like I’m definitely cut out for it, I don’t see myself doing this till my retirement. Yes, teaching is fun and I think that I will always be involved with it in one way or another, but I would also like to try my hand at other things. I would love to do more research or work as a communication employee for the government. In the long run I can even see myself running my own small language/ communication company. So I think teaching and language will never be far away from what I’m doing but I’m definitely trying to keep the playing field as open as I can. I still have around 40 – 45 years left in which I can work and develop my skills so we’ll see where the ship is heading for.
What job is your dream job? And what do you do for a living? Lemme know in a comment below!
3 responses to “Why I became a teacher”
Duidelijk hebt je het kunstje voor Engels. I only wish my knack for Dutch was 1/2 as strong, but I’m only 15 months in, so not much track record from which to judge. I don’t think that I often see conversational English written by native speakers quite as well as you manage here, so kudos to you. Keep following your passion; I think it’s great.
You should know also that I was about to correct your use of “till.” In my view, it should be ’til because it’s a shortening of until, instead of till, which is in my mind a cash drawer. Alas, the etymology clearly shows “till” is perfectly correct usage too. (It still rubs me the wrong way, so to speak, but it’s correct.) I think your English skills amaze me even more now, than when I started posting this comment!
Ik moet nu naar m’n kantoor om Nederlands te studeren. 😉
Dankjewel voor je lieve comment! And Dutch is just a matter of practice. Learning a language always is, so just keep going and you’ll find yourself approving over time. I’ve been learning English for over 15 years now and I’m still discovering new things almost every day!
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