Last year, our trainee said he didn't like teaching. He kept telling me so. He said that it is a necessity. It must be done in order to give the children a chance. He feels strongly about injustice and seems to want to prevent it.
He likes football and cane-ball. He wistfully said that in the west, people are told to follow their dreams and passion. He seems to have missed the memo that most young boys do not become David Beckham or Cristiano Renaldo. Perhaps foolishly, I have chosen to ignore this red flag. It took me a while to become comfortable with teaching and I only really enjoyed it when I was able to plan consistently high-grade lessons in which I could see the progress that my students were making. I have seen that spark of excitement in this trainee. When grade 8 were engaged, he was satisfied. I naively believe that spark is something I can foster into a great teacher.
He claims that there is a fundamental difference between the way in which we teach. Namely that I am happy, relaxed and active while he is tired, lethargic and wishing away the time. I don’t really see that if I’m honest. I must keep striving to achieve the balance between pushing him and allowing him to come to it on his own terms. Of course I worry that he tells me he doesn’t enjoy teaching, but I do not consider it an insurmountable problem in the scheme of things.
Well after some time, the trainee now claims to like teaching which is a huge relief. It is something that I always suspected would come to light however presumptuous that might be of me.
Upon our return to the village, I am heartened to see our trainee's lesson plans which are well-scaffolded and student-centred. I am pleased to find that my pearls of wisdom on teaching have not been disregarded. It shows me that my time here was not wasted and that with the right encouragement, a firm foundation can be planted even on unstable ground.
NEH Director of Studies and Teacher Trainer
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