So Why Did You Decide To Become A Teacher?

The question is so vague, isn’t it?

I have been asked that question way too many times. When I was in college, the question was, “Why do you want to be a teacher?” And for the sharp-tongued ones, “You? A teacher? What will you gain from that kind of job?”

“Being a teacher doesn’t suit you. You’re more fitting for medicine. Or journalism.” Someone even said I was fit to be in hospitality management. Right. I don’t know where that came from, either.

“Teachers don’t make money. You should go into business because your family is in it and you should continue the legacy.” I didn’t know that my family had the label, “business type.” I appreciate you pointing it out to me, though.

To be honest, I cannot remember how I answered the same question over and over again. I guess I answered it the same way I always did, “I love teaching children.”

To answer the million dollar question, you need to know what kind of world I live in.

I live in a world full of children — different ages, cultures, and attitudes. I live in a world of curiosity and pure innocence. I live in a world where everything matters. I live in a world where talents are rich and diverse. I live in a world where learning never ever stops — even for adults.

I live in a world where convictions in life will be tried. I live in a world where patience is tested. I live in a world where drawing the line is important for my students’ own protection. I live in a world wherein a simple “I’m sorry,” can easily be followed up by an, “I forgive you.”

Best of all, I live in a world where fulfillment is abundant and faith is increased minute by minute.

This is the world of children. This is the life of a teacher.

I love that world. It is in that world that I found who I am and where my heart is set to be. It is in this world that you can be an encouragement to a seven-year-old kid when their moon seems to be upon them even when their sun still wants to fight. In this world, there is no judgment and no bitterness. Not when you’re around kids who love you just as much as you love them.

There’s nothing in this world that beats laughing with your students when you get tongue-tied from explaining the difference between a novel and a prose. There’s nothing in this world that brings me more joy than to see a student learning from his mistakes. The moment I got hired, I made it my personal life’s work to make something worthwhile of the two hours I get from each of my classes every week. I will not step out of a classroom door without teaching even just one kid the meaning of “raspy” or how to spell “because.”

To me, nothing beats this classic classroom mistake I always make: Because I handle six different classes, sometimes I get them mixed up. I’m teaching Grade One and I suddenly call them out as “Grade Three.” My students would always look up at me and smile. Because they already know me. And they accept me no matter how many mistakes I make.

Teaching may not be the easiest thing to do but it’s what I love. It doesn’t matter if I lose my voice from talking too much or get dragged down with all the mountains of papers and short stories that I have to grade. What matters is that children learn what they deserve to learn. What matters is that they love school because it’s fun to learn.

Plus, who doesn’t love getting bear hugs until your ribs hurt every morning, five days a week?

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