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So...I'm a Teacher Now Pt. III

Updated: Dec 6, 2020

WARNING: rant straight ahead —>

Read Part I and II.

I hate being a teacher because of how much I’m limited to from a distance. Sometimes all I feel like I do is just care and not act. It’s such a complex role to have in an individual’s life. Like, you can only say or do so much and just cross your fingers (more like pray) that it gets to one kid. I know caring is supposed to be a good thing, but I feel like it’s somewhat a weakness in myself, because I tend to want to be the person/thing that changes somebody’s circumstance - which I think is bad, because:

1) it makes it seem like I know more than I do, therefore looking a bit too prideful and

2) it makes it seem like I’m a fixer; trying to play God.

And that causes me to hate myself, because of how much I don’t want to feel for these children. Whether this is because of fear of getting too close to them and then getting hurt, or whether it’s because of fearing that I’ll fail in my role, I’m not sure. I tell myself I’d rather just be a ghost and not know about them personally or have a relationship with them. I know this is bad, but I have a hard time seeing how forming deep temporary relationships is a good thing.

I have to give them advice and guidance, because it’s what I’m expected to do. And in as much as I pray on what to say, I’m always caught under pressure, just speaking some cliche lines or sort of giving a passive response. I realise how unhelpful it is to tell a kid to ignore another student or to not care about what other students think of them. And the weird thing is, even though I’ve lived most of my life as a student, I find that I’ve really lost touch with what that whole experience was like - How tiring, frustrating, hard, complicated, confusing, annoying, and limiting it was. These days, I try to listen more, instead of just dictate something that was told to me as a child, essentially brushing them off. Life is hard. For everyone. I forget that just because I’m not where I used to be and made it past that point, someone in that same position must have it easy. Such a weird concept of thought.

I think about some days where I’m really pissed off at my tutor group (the students I’m in charge of) because of one or two dumb things they do. And sometimes I realise my mood dictates too much how I engage with them, and it’s ridiculous really when I think of it. I think to when I was a kid, and how if my mum was pissed at me, yeah she would get in a mood, but then get over it at some point, instead of sort of rejecting me and prejudging me. And even more, I think of God. I wonder how quickly God decides to forgive us and offer forgiveness long before we’ve even wronged him. I think of how He would deal with these children, giving them space to learn, because He knows they’re growing and will try figure things out the way they know how. I know I’m not God, and I’m soooooooo human when it comes to these things. I’m learning, I know. But, sometimes I feel like I care waaaaaay too much when I don’t really have a say in these kids’ lives. For example, I’m so concerned about what’s going on in their home lives and how they’re performing on their exams, when really, I can’t push them as much as I would want to or make them do things or beat them (seriously though). So it’s tough, because I want every interaction I have with them to matter. I feel like I need it to matter, because I’ll only be in their lives for a second before they’re off to whatever next phase their lives have to offer them, and I want to know that I’m not just some random teacher who taught them once upon a time. I don’t know how realistic my hopes are, maybe I’m diverting into the whole people pleasing thing with this.

This is what I need to tell myself more:

These are not my children. They don’t owe me anything. They’re children. They will let me down, because they’re human. They will do dumb things, because they’re human. They will make the same mistakes even after I’ve repeatedly lectured them a million times because they’re human.

And I need to give my concern for the kids, all of it, to God, because He’s the only one that should have control on such things.

All I’m saying is, the teacher role is so complex, and really it is an art that needs constant fine tuning. I know I won’t get to perfection, but maybe I can get to a point of being okay with what I pour into it and take out of it, and know that there is no guarantee of anything in any relationship.

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