An unlikely career path.

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Since today marks the last day of my first year of teaching, I think it deserves a post.

I never really saw myself being in this profession. I have had favorite teachers and professors, but I’ve never dreamed of being one when I was a student. And I guess it goes the same way to my family and friends.

I have always done good/excellent in school. I’ve always been competitive. So I guess it was natural for my parents to think that I would fit the corporate ladder. That I’d be hungry to be on top of a corporation or something. But eventually, I found out that more than being on top, my passion is to share my knowledge.

So how did all these start?

I remember my first “official” (aka paid hehehe) teaching stint was when I got a tutor post at Ahead back in college. I still laugh remembering how impatient and mataray I was back then. Did I already enjoy it during that time? I don’t think so. Haha. For me, it was more of just a means to make use of the free time I had.

It was during the last months of my almost-2 years stay in the corporate world that I felt to go back to the field of academe. After I resigned, I enrolled and took my Masteral in Engineering. Since all of my classes are at night, I got myself a part-time job at Tutoring Club. I think this is where my teaching skills – patience, interaction skills, etc – started to get developed.

Then a month before my graduation ceremony for my MS diploma, the same week I got back from vacation, I got an offer to teach in the university. And the rest is history.

Teaching is a very challenging job. Different situations require different approaches. When you’re teaching kids, you have to be as animated as you can. Children don’t get sarcasm. They also won’t want to be with you if you scare them. When you’re teaching in a review lecture, you can’t impose discipline as you would only meet them once in the whole stretch of their review. You would have to be able to sustain their attention the best way you can. But I think the most challenging is teaching in a university. As someone relatively young, you would have to find the right balance between being authoritative and approachable. You would have to have enough maturity to be able to decide the best way you can instill learning on your students, yet be “cool” enough to be someone they can relate to.

Just the other day, a former student of mine asked me “Miss, san kayo kumukuha ng patience to teach?” (“Miss, where do you get the patience to teach?”. To be honest, I didn’t know how to answer at first because I’m probably one of the most impatient and ill-tempered people I know. Haha. (And I guess same goes with my friends as most of them still don’t see me as a professor hahaha). But that’s also what I love about teaching, it constantly improves me. I may not be the most patient person now, but I think I am more in control of my composure and temper. I am more careful of my actions and words. And that I always think of how and what my students can get from their time with me above anything else.

I am very thankful that early in this life, I’ve already found my passion. And that despite not being rich, my family allowed me to pursue teaching even though it is not lucrative. Being able to work in a job that impacts and helps others directly is one of the best feelings in the world. (Like getting a text from a tutee saying she got perfect in her Calculus exam makes me really happy. Haha). I may not be the best professor/teacher in the world, but I will always strive to be a good one, or a professor/teacher that makes them become their better selves.

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2 responses »

  1. Yay, finally! Well said, Ma’am! I’m in awe of you for pursuing your passion over pera (kelangan itagalog para alliteration). I wish I could have the guts to do the same!

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