So begins my life as a teacher.
I have spent 5 days in service at SKST. There is so much that I do not know. So much that I must learn.
I received a temporary timetable on the second day I was here. Apparently, I was sent to SKST because I was supposed to fill in an empty spot left by a teacher who was supposed to report here earlier this year, but never did (she got a transfer to another state). Mr L's words were, "We are so happy to get an English teacher. We need another female English teacher." I feel wanted. Hehe.And needed.
I was assigned to take over the classes which were supposed to be taken by the Teacher Who Never Came. Three Classes. 2D. 3Z. 4D. You'd better remember them since I predict i will be talking about them a lot. A LOT.
Each grade is streamed into two classes- the Z classes for the higher ability pupils and the D classes for lower ability ones. You may have noticed that I go two D classes. It's all right! I thought It is best to start with the more difficult classes. You learn and gain more experience that way.
I want to talk 2D.
The first time I entered their class, they managed (or I managed to make them) stay in their seats. New teacher alert. (Nearly) all was good.
The second time I entered was two period before the final bell rang. They were already wearing their bags, ready to go home. They yelled, kicked, ,banged the desks and simply ran amok. The Silent Treatment did NOT work. I began to get a foreboding of doom. Grey clouds. Heavy rain. I was determined. When I next entered, I would be strict. Garang. These children need to learn that I was in charge. I prepared for battle.
Every time I talked to my friends or other people, I would describe the horrors that these children had presented to me. 2D this. 2D that.
The third time was yesterday. I'd received the permanent timetable and I was ready to rock these kids' socks. In short, it was a total flop. A huge disaster. I went back to the staff room and brooded at my table.
Mr L happened to be there, so I started talking to him. He's my mentor, so I told him all about it- how my planned activities never got carried out because the children would not listen to me... and so on. We talked about it for quite a while. I was down in the dumps and not ready to climb back to the top. Though I nodded in agreement to what Mr L said, the words did not enter my heart.
Then, Mr L said something that struck me right at the core of my heart. It was such a simple statement, but it shocked me right back into existence. He said:
"You must enjoy (being with) the children. Then you will enjoy the class."
Realisation flooded into me. I was dumbstruck. Just with those words, I began see things clearly. It was as if a door had been unlocked and I was walking out of it, meeting sunshine and fresh air and all good things.
I had made a mistake. When I was at SKP, however bad things were, I knew that I loved and cared for the children. They were special. I did not only want to teach them and help them learn, I also wanted to be their friends.
With 2D, I had fallen into a trap I fell into the Teacher vs. Pupils trap. It was me against them.
It should have been me AND them. Teachers and Pupils. I had set myself apart, and I did not try very hard to remember all their names. I did not even think about whether I liked them. Whoever they were, I just wanted to teach. It was wrong. I was wrong.
Today, I entered and smiled. I joked, and laughed and teased. I began to learn their names, and I could feel that I liked being there. Let me tell you it was no a total success. We're a long way from there. However, I think whatever happens, I won't want to stop trying. These children are special. They need my attention, and my help. I want to look forward to going to class. I don't want to dread the thought of meeting them every day. In order to execute change, I must change. It starts with me.
2D, let me be your teacher. Let me be your friends. Let me into your world. Let's make learning fun, shall we?
Remembering You in Between
4 years ago