The Life Teacher

on Monday, 26 September 2011
First of all, if you were wondering how come I went AWOL or somehow went on a sabbatical or something, rest assured that it wasn't THAT cool....

Being a teacher IS taxing. Work will bog you down and you can't blog NOT because you don't have any free time, but because free time becomes so valuable, you tend to want to spend time doing other things rather than blogging.

Finally a breather this week from many other things that I could not possibly blog here because they are completely unrelated to English. That's right. I'm an English teacher and for the past 1-2 months, most of my work is completely unrelated to English. Har Har Har.

I hate to start of the blog after such a long time by saying something negative but I think that the students have started to deteriorate - not in their English per se but they have started to degenerate altogether. I can understand if the notorious or rowdier ones are giving me an attitude but now even the best classes are starting to show lack of enthusiasm. I can only count a small handful who are still exuberant and full of initiative to improve themselves.

After teaching for awhile, especially these 2 months of non-English related work, I've come to realise that I am not primarily an English teacher. I think teachers are never primarily their major subject teachers anymore. It's important to review back what the word teacher means. It is not about teaching subject matter and everything else revolves around that... instead, it's more of like being a teacher has many revolving things around you, and your subject matter is part of it only.

This is the part that probably I'm not exactly good at. I'm not that good in doing many other things in life. I might be good at certain things but to me, it doesn't feel like I'm qualified to teach 'life' to kids. It's something that I feel so daunting and so responsible that I find it almost impossible to teach without having a small smirk in my mind saying "Yeah right Adrian, as if..."

Could this sense of self-righteous-irony be my downfall? Is it really hard to teach life to kids? How does one start? How does one correct life? Is discipline life? Is manners or studying life? Maybe I should break it down.

Life is about lessons. Lessons also means something or a situation that prompts us to try and in trying, we improve no matter what the end result is. These lessons do not teach us, they train us to identify options and weigh the consequences - not to necessarily make the right decisions but to understand that we learn no matter which decision we take at the end of the day.

Life is about rules. Written rules are only a tangible object that reflects our innermost common sense. It is not because it's a rule not to kill that we choose not to kill. It's because inside of us we know that it is wrong to kill and that's why we choose not to kill. These rules do not have to be written and we follow them inside our minds and our hearts which what makes us human. People who are mindless in obeying rules just because they are written are nothing more than advanced computers.

Now how am I going to get my students to embody those?


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