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Reflecting on myself as a teacher

14 Nov 2019 at 22:22
When I became the teacher I never wanted to become I became something horrible

When I was younger I had several really cool teachers who remained firmly as inspiration throughout my life. Contradicting that, I had some really bad teachers and also some who were very unfriendly or intimidating.

I particularly remember the one really unfriendly teacher, a Modern Languages teacher, who in my first year I would talk to her about my German uncle and try and make bridges with her because, in reality, I was a shy little lad who was quite intimidated by her. She would often talk for a few seconds before rushing off - often as though she hated talking to me so much she had to get out of there. There were times where I hoped I could cash in on those moments. For example, she was a cruel teacher in the sense if you didn't do well in a test she would make you stand up in front of the class and state why you failed - I mean that's bullying.

I was honestly scared beyond belief doing those tests. But as the teacher continued to make a fool out of me, I would often use that to make a silly joke and make the class laugh, much to the teacher's disappointment. You see, that teacher, being such a bully, was using the behavioural method of teaching - do well or face the consequences - and it wasn't actually working. I hated Languages and it was all down to her, had it not been for my lovely third-year teacher, I would have never wanted to speak German again.

I vowed never to become like her as a teacher in my later life.

Now that I am a teacher I have noticed some similarities between her and me. I some of the qualities of the teacher I never wanted to become. Unfortunately, I tried out being that respected teacher and I had a lot of pupils saying I was their favourite teacher, but then the worst thing happened. I had to really raise my voice in anger with a class that had a lot of respect for me (and, by the way, that little shy boy from 2003 now in 2019 can really raise his voice). I broke down the bridges I had worked hard to build with my classes, pupils went from saying I was their favourite teacher to saying that I was no longer their favourite teacher. I'm not out to be number one, but what I saw was that the bridges I made with pupils had been burned down. I wasn't happy with the end result either, because the class got more disruptive and lost their interest with my classes for a few lessons.

So how do I go back from here?   

Next year I'm committing not to going back to using the same methods of fear that my Languages teacher used on me because not only do I not like it but I don't believe it works either.