There really is nothing quite like the feeling you get when you enter a classroom for the first time, not as a student, but as a teacher.
I can’t quite describe what I felt on my first teaching day when I entered that quiet grade 8 class and dragged on the friendliest smile I could muster and looked around at those fourteen faces, all of which were reflecting that judging you so hard right now vibe, and it really struck home that Fook. I am their fooking teacher. I have fooking students. I am here to teach. Fook fook fookity FOOK.
It is something akin to stage fright, I think. And I have had my fair share of that. I still remember those instances during my primary school years when I was grudgingly forced on stage to act out some moral drama. I always got the butterflies beforehand, but the moment I am up on stage and all those hundreds of eyes are on me, the one thing that sticks in my mind is that I cannot afford to make a fool out of myself. That one solid thought is what always got me through those experiences; it made me perform my best and ignore the audience and just bloody do it and somehow I survive.
I think the same thing happened this time. I am here on my Teaching Practicum and it is not a field I can afford to lose out on, so I just unwittingly handled the fear the same way I used to handle stage fright. And somehow … it worked well. Wow. I don’t even-
I never thought it would be so hard to explain what it is like to teach, but the feeling is … kinda overwhelming, in a good way. I always knew I had confidence deep down inside – or at least, a mask of confidence that hides my nervousness well – and I was able to bring that out and carry out the lessons in a not-at-all fail way. ^^;
I also like to think I was able to connect with the students on a good level. It stands to reason they were nervous around me the first few days, but I felt such a burst of accomplishment when I saw how they warmed up to me slowly as the days passed. Even greater is the feeling when I am able to handle the handful of naughty kids in the classroom and they actually participate in the activities with enthusiasm and answer my questions correctly. And it gives me those warm fuzzy feelings when the students initiate invitations for me to interact more with them or seek me out for whatever reason and I can feel our relationship building and solidifying. Those little things really do make me feel like all the pains I have to take to be a “good” teacher are so worth it.
So far, I’ve also taught chem to a grade 9 class, which has less number of students – only six! – but are more playful and active. It is a good experience, I guess, learning to manage two classes with very different behaviour, but if I may say so myself, it is far more fun to teach a class that is playful. Being obedient and silent is one thing, but being active and enthusiastic is another. As a teacher in training, I personally prefer to teach classes that have a bit of a naughty playful side. xD
Nevertheless, I’ve developed equal soft spots for both the classes and I so do not want to feel love for a bunch of kids I’m teaching for a mere month because I’ll have to leave soon anyway and I don’t want any sentimental rubbish to deal with later, but … oh yeah, I so totally have soft spots for them >.> (Heck, I refer to them as my brats now D:)
One of the perks of being a teacher is being given the chance to unleash one’s sadistic side on brats xD Well OK, so I haven’t been really sadistic – I’ve been trying to win their hearts and please my master teachers for one thing, so yeah – but it is still gratifying to know I have that power over them. /bricked
(If in some alternate dimension I end up on one of those hilarious Japanese shows
I am so totally not thinking of Janiben OK and
they ask me if I am an S or an M, I think my answer is obvious. :P)
But I have forced some of the more reluctant kids to be more active and engaged in the lesson by using my borderline sadistic powers of pigheaded persuasion, so it comes close xP Not to mention having to deal with naughty boys who ask extremely cheeky questions to which I fire off sarcastic replies that shut them up good; this is a case where I think both teacher and student enjoy the banter … to different degrees lol xD
The major downside of being a teacher is losing the freedom to being a flaily spazz outside school, especially in a small island like this where everyone knows everyone and talks spread fast. I hate that need-to-maintain-my-dignity-at-all-times that comes with the teacher package. I need to unleash my insanity outside! But I can’t, because people – especially one of my brats – may see and they will tell everyone and losing society’s respect is a huge no-no. >.>
But well, things are pretty smooth sailing so far, teaching-wise. My master teachers’ feedback have been pretty encouraging and I have hope that I will, Insha Allah, pass my first TP. ^^