I know, this post might be a bit cheesy, but today I feel positive so I’d like to share with the blogosphere the reasons why I love teaching, and particularly teaching English in a language school (as opposed to teaching in a primary or secondary state school). Here it goes.
ONE: Building Rapport
First and most of all, I love the fact that our job allows us the luxury of building rapport with the people (i.e. learners) we work with. Other jobs make it more difficult because there’s more formality involved or because there is not enough time. I enjoy meeting lots of different students, greeting them by name, seeing their progress and getting to know them as learners as well as people.
TWO: Sense of achievement
I simply love the thought of helping people develop their (language in this case) skills. I know this is probably truer for a state school teacher who has the time and means to really shape children’s future. But I still feel I can make a difference.
THREE: Teaching is learning
In my case, teaching is not just learning about methodology, students, assessment, etc. Since English is my L2, teaching also means diving into the English language in a way that would probably have been impossible otherwise. I learn new words and expressions almost daily (see my post on noticing in action), I understand nuances of meaning or phonological features that I enthusiastically compare to Italian and usually share with my husband, who patiently listens.
I know many (if not all) jobs require professionalism, but I can say that in Italy’s current situation not all teaching jobs do. I am grateful of being part of an institution that values professionalism and encourages training. I value chatting with my colleagues and learning from them as much as from my students. This not only gratifies me, but also helps me build my identity as a teacher.
Despite some of my colleagues complain about having to teach a class of 20 5-year-olds and immediately after a small group of business managers, I love this aspect of my job. Variety keeps it interesting for me, not only because I learn to deal with different types of learners with different needs and learning preferences, but also because this challenges me to fine tune my own teaching according to the learners in front of me. It helps me see the same problem from different perspectives. Have you ever tried teaching the modal verb can to a group of 8-year-olds and immediately after to a group of co-workers on their lunch break? I find this gives me a lot of insight into how we learn and on how adults can sometimes be similar to children when learning. 🙂
What are your reasons for being a teacher? What do you enjoy the most?