When I grew up, I aspired, and still aspire to be an environmental researcher. Someone who travels and explores the many wonders of the world, learning and experiencing new things everyday, and applying my research to my job, so that I can inspire others as well.
In terms of my career, my dream is to eventually establish my own school of Environmental Science and Geography which will involve both Human and Physical Geography, respectively. It would also be my dream to publish a book on the findings of my research which I can then share with the rest of the world.
Currently, I'm working as a tutor, teaching English Language and English Literature to children aged from 9-16 years old. I have been teaching English for nearly 3 months now, which I am enjoying very much! Knowing that I am helping other people achieve more for themselves in their education, and seeing children progressing in their literacy skills, is extremely rewarding!
I found the job via my friend who had been teaching Mathematics at the same tuition centre. He suggested I try out to becoming a tutor of English there. I realised what a great opportunity this would be and went ahead and applied. I had to go through a few examinations beforehand, to put my literacy skills to the test, including an interview with the manager. Fortunately, I passed the examinations and they offered me the job. Straight after being accepted for the role as an English tutor, I had my first class, and loved it! I had found it so much more rewarding than any other job I've ever had in the past, and I knew straight away that teaching others is where I belong, and what I want to do in career terms.
I have been teaching English to children for nearly 3 months now, and plan to continue on for quite a long period of time.
On a Monday morning, I love waking up early and looking ahead to a fresh new week that I have ahead of me. I always look at ways I can improve and get more out of what I do, by mentally reviewing and self-assessing my progress in the weeks before. I like to know that I have developed my skills, as well as learning new ones each day. I always start the week with a can-do attitude, preparing myself to seize any opportunity that may come my way, and may be useful for developing and improving my career path.
A typical day involves waking up nice and early, checking my emails and the news during breakfast, then writing down all the things I need to do for that day. I usually begin, by marking work and checking through homework, then writing down a plan for the next lesson, (if I haven't done so already the night before). I usually take the train to work and upon arrival set up the classroom with a dictionary on every desk for each student, and the classwork ready on the white board.
An example of what one of the many lessons involves, begins with a vocabulary test, then an anthology task, which involves reading through a poem and answering questions. Near the end of the lesson, there is a punctuation task, where the students are usually faced with a passage with missing punctuation marks, then finally a grammar task, where students are faced with sentences, involving grammatical errors. At the end of the lesson, homework is set, which includes punctuation, grammar and comprehension tasks to test the students' understanding of the classwork, as well as a written essay. No student leaves the lesson without an essay plan for the homework, which I go through with them beforehand, during the end of the lesson. During the lesson, I also mark work whilst students are quietly working. However, not all lessons include the same structure or content, because I teach many different levels, from level 1 to 5 (level 1 being the easiest).
After work I head home and prepare the next day's lesson before getting on with cooking dinner and taking care of the usual household chores.
The best part of the job would have to be the rewarding experience I gain from teaching others to learn what I'm already good at, and helping those students entrusted into my care. Working with children of all ages, who have a desire and willingness to learn and develop, is worth every teacher's time and patience!
I thoroughly enjoy what I do, and therefore, can't really criticise any part of it. The only aspect of teaching that can be displeasing is when students don't pay attention or behave badly during lessons. This can waste time for the other students (who are actually willing to learn), as well as the teachers. However, I think this is avoidable if the teacher sets good ground rules and discipline in lessons, which will only be obeyed if a teacher is well-respected by the students.
1) Passion to teach and work with children = You must first follow where your passions lie, and working with people you ideally prefer to interact with. This will make the job easier and much more enjoyable for you. If you can't relate to the students you are teaching, then you will not be able to meet their educational needs. Sharing your passions through teaching, is a way to inspire young minds, and encourage thinking.
2) Organisation = This is very important, particularly for the aspect of the job which involves managing the classroom, classwork, lesson planning, marking and examination preparation. Everything involved in teaching needs to be well-ordered, because a student can only be as organised as their teacher.
3) Patience = Patience is a virtue, but in the classroom, patience is a necessity. A good teacher must remain patient with students at all times, because without this asset, they can easily give up on a troublesome student, as a way of avoiding the problem.
I think these are important attributes for a teacher to fully understand students and know what action to take to help them succeed.
In 10 years time, I can see myself doing what I enjoy the most, which is to teach, but by then, I am expecting to have established my own school of teaching the subject I am most passionate about, Geography. In addition, I can also see myself as a person who has travelled around the world, and has published a book.
I've only been teaching for less than 3 months so I cannot answer this question fully. However, I do know that over the past few years, there has been an increased focus on learning activities which are more student-centered. Activities are shifted away from the teacher and focussed on the students, making them more actively engaged in learning.
Firstly, make sure that this is what you want to do, and that you will enjoy working with children of all ages.
You should be confident that you are highly knowledgeable and up to date with the subject(s) you want to teach. It's very important to stay well organised and have a lot of patience with students, as you will need to demonstrate an empathy with their thinking. Therefore, you need to be ready to anticipate any misconceptions, to allow pupils to develop understanding in a variety of ways that is best for them.
I've found an essential quality to be sure that your students are actually focussed and learning, is to observe - look out for any signs that they are failing to keep up, are bored, or are not understanding. If these signs are not recognised, then there is no chance of any improvements being made.
Lastly, every teacher should have an enthusiastic manner, which will in turn motivate students to learn. For this to happen, you need to be creative and imaginative, and have an open attitude towards change.
Yes, I used to have my own mentor whilst I was studying my degree in university.
My mentor helped me in many ways. This included giving me advice on how to improve my essay writing skills at an academic level; giving me tips on how to develop my research, and where to go to look for important sources of information; helping me with planning assignments and how to present and structure my work, and much, much more. My mentor also gave me some useful advice on career paths, and where I need to look for essential work experience.
A good mentor has to understand the needs of the person they are working with, knowing the correct advice and guidance to give, and sharing the right knowledge of information, to supply the person with very constructive feedback, that they can work from. A good relationship needs to be established from the beginning, which will require the mentor to be a positive and outgoing person, who is open-minded and interested in sharing their own skills, knowledge and expertise. A mentor should also be a good listener and value the opinions and initiatives of others.
I believe I have the ability to become a good mentor, and therefore would love to take on the role. It is in my best interest to help and guide as many people as I can, and at the same time, knowing that I am getting something out of it myself, as it is extremely rewarding to know that you are helping others develop, and reach their own ambitions and dreams in life.
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