I am amazed at how life works and I am in that, "So, this is how GOD plays" kinda mindset right now. I must tell you this, and I must do it here because this is that kinda post, you know the one in which I would return to in a few years, drawing strength from. And here we go, the second post of the second practicum phase.
I was having a few bad days and I think it was basically due to the fact that my heart, mind and soul told me what a great teacher I am. And all that confidence, love I had for what I was doing, passion you may say crumbled into pieces, leaving me with a shattered heart after my first observation with my lecturer. She is a nice person, mind you, it is just how much things went so wrong at that one time that honestly made me contemplate my profession, something I swear I never saw myself doing. And just as I was recovering from that blow, shifting my focus to accommodate someone else's teaching principle (yes, something I never saw myself doing too), I was struck once again. This time by my CT. She is a wonderful woman too. I suppose I am just not lucky when it comes to observations. Anyway, I walked out of class that day, went to my place in the Bilik Gerakan, put my head down and was lost. I was just lost. I'll tell you exactly how it felt. Imagine walking out of your house and suddenly you are not able to see. You don't know where you are and yet your vision is blurred. You don't know how to return home and at that moment you wonder if at all you would be able to. That is how I felt. A million thoughts in my head and a million needles pricking my soul.
It is a terrible way to feel, trust me. So after the last bell rang, I signed out, and took a long walk to the taxi stand. I stood there for what felt like hours, still playing the scenes of what happened in class in my head, not understanding why it happened to me.And just about then a taxi stopped and the uncle asked me where I was going. I told him, he nodded his head and I got in. Who would have thought that one ride home would change my life because that is precisely what it did. That uncle who I would probably never cross paths with again in this busy KL city taught me, a teacher what teaching is.
It was a good solid 2 minutes since I got in when he suddenly asked me, "Are you a teacher, ma?". I was stunned to be taken away from my thoughts for a second. I regained composure, smiled and said, "Yes, I am a trainee teacher". He said, "Oh, still on your practicum". I smiled again, really not wanting him to continue. I wasn't in the mood for small talks. But he was. He continued. He asked me, "Why did you choose to be a teacher?". I took a deep breath. This is going to be a tough conversation I thought. I told him how my mum wanted me to be a teacher and how I wanted her to be happy. I insisted on how little her decision had to do with it because I would never let anyone make a decision for me. It was entirely mine. I made the decision to make her happy. This time he smiled and he asked me the next question which was a life changing one. He said, "Do you like your job?". I was thrown back and I went dumb. He waited. I was quiet. He waited again. I was still quiet. I did not know what to say. My mind did a flashback on what happened that day and then it did a major flashback, playing scenes of the past. I thought about how happy I was on the very first day of my S.B.E, how I had fallen in love with children that day, how my S.K.B.T kids used to tell me they loved me so much because I made English seem easy, how just that week my year 2 kids who did not understand a word of English danced in class with me to Old McDonalds, the happiness in their eyes and that amazing feeling of "Oh my goodness, they are actually enjoying my class" which I had, Mr. Mano who always tells me what a great teacher I will make, the children who queue up just to "salam" me before going back or my now Year 5 kids who go "Yeay Miss Raeva is here" when I walk into class, I thought about all that and even more. I thought about how much I loved waking up to go to school even if I just had an hour of sleep the night before, about how seeing little kids running around aimlessly makes me so so so happy, and about how much I knew I am good at what I do. In that few seconds that he asked me that question, a million scenes played in my head and I answered, "I love my job. Teaching makes me so happy that I cannot see myself doing anything else in my life". This time he smiled and said, "Good. That is what you should say. I know teaching is difficult but loving what you do would make the work seem so easy and effortless". Honestly, that was something I needed to hear and I was listening to it come from a random man. When I reached my hostel I paid him, told him a heartfelt thank you and told him it was really nice meeting him. He said, "We will meet soon" with a little smile. I don't know whether GOD sent him to me or it was just a really nice person whom I met. But that day. in that taxi, magic happened.
I walked back to my room with a big smile on my face. So what if someone else thinks I am too strict in class? I know I am not. I can never be strict. I know I have a good rapport with my kids. So, what if someone else thinks my "Hocus Pocus, Everybody focus" chant is silly? I know it is not and I know my kids love it. Why would I get lost when I love my job? Why would I change my principles of teaching when I know that style suits my kids? Seriously, why would I? The only people I should be bothered about are my kids. I am a good teacher. I take time and plan my lessons. I praise every little good thing my kids do and I reprimand their misbehaviours. I always incorporate the word "fun" in my lessons. I make sure each and every one of them understand what I am teaching. I give as much personal attention as I can, I tell them to come see me if they don't know something. I treat them as my own children. I know they love me and I love them. So, why should I be bothered, again?
That is a lesson that I wish every trainee teacher would remember when things get tough. I wish they would meet that wonderful person whom I met. I wish so badly that each and every one of us always remember what a great feeling it is to go to school and change someone else's life, because we teachers are honestly blessed to be able to do that. Being on practicum is not easy. You have so much to deal with. Lecturers, cooperating teachers, school administration, other teachers, etc. You will see how theory never works in real life and you will have to listen to people saying how when you are a "real teacher" you won't be bothered about writing long reflections or preparing teaching materials because you would be burdened with desk jobs, something that I honestly hate hearing. I know I will never compromise on the quality of my teaching no matter what happens and yes, I am honestly waiting for the time to prove them all wrong. You will learn the valuable lessons that would shape your teaching career in a very hard way and surprisingly, you would be happy learning it. Till that happens, till I graduate, till I understand the word "real teacher", I am not giving up, no matter what anyone says and no matter what happens. I am tough.
Ps: Thank you random stranger, whoever you are and wherever you are, thank you. You changed my life.
Signing off as Miss Raeva.