A Teacher and A Student

For some things in life you only discover a love, a passion for it later on in life. I suppose it’s better late than never as the old saying goes.   With this blog, I rediscovered my love of writing and with teaching I discovered my love of teaching. Nothing gives more satisfaction than the sight of someone’s eyes sparkle in delight and understanding when something previously unknown is finally understood.   I had been teaching younger kids and have recently moved onto teaching older students getting ready for college entrance exams.

You may wonder what is so good about teaching?  You keep saying what you know to students again and again?  For me it’s more than that. It’s fun and exhilirating.  Teaching for me is not just about going to a classroom and lecturing so that students can jot down notes and memorize.  Teaching is understanding and realizing the potential in each student.  Teaching involves understanding how each and everyone learns and customizing lessons to suit their styles.

Everyone I believe learns differently.  We have different trigger points, different ways of understanding things.  Some like pictures, music and diagrams.  Some prefer numbers, text and plain old reading and writing.  Understanding how one prefers to learn is important for if one learns the way one enjoys, then one will learn more and understand more.  Some are so bright, if taught too slowly, they will fall asleep.  It’s not that they are unmotivated, it’s just too slow sometimes.

I witnessed the importance of teaching with understanding with my first senior level student.  Upon the first encounter, I could see that she did not like English.  It was a mumble jumble of squiggles on a page that looked like a big headache.  (I can relate to the feeling, because that is what I felt like when I first started learning Thai and saw an entire page of squiggly letters.)  It was something she did not want to touch for just reading each word was a painful experience.   She barely touched the exam I had given her.

Since our first encounter, together we have spent a good number of hours going through exams, dissecting texts, learning grammar and vocabularly.  What I love most is the sparkle in her eyes when I explain something and the squiggles suddenly start to make sense.   English starts being fun.  I start getting more questions as her curiousity increases.  What is the difference between this word and that?  When can we use these sentences or phrases?  The lesson continues after hours.  With technology, mini lessons continue.  Readings and sentences are sent online. I love the interaction.

All these questions and the sparkles that light up her face make me smile and my heart feel literally full.  I am happy and content with my life.  I understand now why some choose to be teachers and professors.  The satisfaction of giving knowledge and seeing students learn, understand and enjoy is truly indeed a satisfying feeling.  It’s fulfilling.  It’s good for the soul.

Thank you for letting me teach dear student.

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