A Teacher’s Point of View
One of the great things about being a teacher is that you get to make a difference in somebody’s life. Whether it is big or small is not important; the important thing is that you are making a difference.
For me, as a teacher I am passing on knowledge that I have and that is a great thing. Any fellow teacher that reads this blog will understand what I am talking about. It is a great feeling when you leave a classroom knowing that the students have learned something new. Before the class had started they didn’t understand a particular concept but by the end of the class you made it clear for them.
I teach English as a foreign language at Callan Barcelona and with the method that we use here it is clear to see how quickly a student learns things. I have seen students joining the school at very basic levels and within two years they are studying advanced levels.
For each individual student the learning experience is different. Some students are studying to improve their level of English for work reasons whereas others are studying just because they want to be able to communicate with people when they travel. Some need to learn quickly and some take their time and take it slowly. With each student the teacher also has a different experience. My favourite type of student is one who is clearly eager to learn. They are the students that have a smile on their faces when you come into the classroom, they sit on the edge of their seats in case they miss something and they hang onto every word you say.
Obviously, how interested a student is in the class depends a lot on who the teacher is. This is why I try to make my classes as fun and as interesting as possible. If you have a boring teacher then you will have bored students. It is important to engage the students in thought.
I always try to get as much as possible from my students by asking them a ‘why’ question or a ‘how’ question. These questions force them to step outside their comfort zone and use vocabulary and grammar that they wouldn’t normally use. As a result of this they usually learn something new, whether that is a word or a grammar point the important thing is that they have taken a further step in their learning process.
Enabling a person to do something is a very rewarding feeling. It is making a contribution to society because it is improving society. If you are a sports coach, for example, you get the same feeling. You are teaching somebody to do something. You are increasing knowledge, passing on information, improving somebody’s life.
After all the hard work a student puts in during a course the one thing I hope for is to see that they get good results in their exams. It is when I see a good result that I know they have done the best they can and that I have made a difference.
Teaching English is enabling a person to better themselves. They are gaining the knowledge that they need to travel around the world and see new places and meet new people. They are giving themselves the opportunity to get a job in a foreign country. I am from Ireland and I am living in Spain so I know how good it can feel to go abroad and start a new life, immerse myself in a new language, experience new cultures and meet new people. Teaching somebody how to speak a language is giving them a chance to do all these things and there is no better feeling than helping somebody to do something and seeing them succeed.
If you are interested in learning a new language or any skill in general that will have a positive impact on your life then why not do it. Whether you have to start at the beginning or you already have some knowledge of the particular skill you will only complete the process by taking that first step.