It makes sense now. Indeed the Lord plans out everything accurately. He’s so great!
When I was a kid, I desire to be a teacher, I don’t know why. I remember I had a lot of toys and I pretended that they were my students. But when I started to understand everything around me I wanted to be a psychologist, I wanted to understand different people, particularly the people at home, including myself. Yet, I still ended up being a teacher, I still enjoyed it because we had psychology subjects too to understand our students better. And actually, I was so excited whenever we talked about it, I constantly read psychology books. I never thought that I would be needing that throughout my stay with my students. But being a teacher requires you also to be everything. hahahahuhuhu! Aja!
These are some life lessons that I learned with different students- different homes.
- Speak kind words, particularly to the little ones. Surely they won’t forget those bad words that come out of your mouth. Words could heal and break someone’s life. Catch them when they are doing good, and compliment them on their talents, skills, perseverance, and good character. Appreciate them, it will help them to be more confident in doing those things. We need a community that uplifts one another. I just noticed in our generation today, only a few people compliment and appreciate one another, instead, they are pulling down one another or saying mean things behind each other’s backs. I once read this “When you think something nice about someone let them know right then.” It won’t cause you anything to say kind words.
- Listen first. – It’s easier to burst out in anger, tell our frustration, and point out their mistakes. But what I realized is the value of listening; listening intently to their hearts and asking about their needs. Sometimes because we think we’re older than them what we perceive is right, it’s not. Let them tell their stories. Let them speak and just zip your mouth and never judge them for what you heard or perceived. Surely, they have their reasons.
- Say what you mean- Our students are not mind readers and we are already living in the digital world. I remember when I was young when our teacher gazed into our eyes, we knew it already but now they wouldn’t mind you even if you stare for an hour. They have good reasoning skills now, they would spit some facts so be prepared.
- Validate their feelings- Welcome their sadness, loneliness, frustrations, anger, and disappointments. When they tantrum, let them go outside, let them wash their hands and face, and tell them to drink water. Let them breathe first, inhale and exhale then wait for them to be ready to share and ask questions when it’s necessary. Just listen, and tell a story that is connected to what they feel. There are many bible stories around or invent one that has moral lessons.
- Make sure that they feel at home- School should be their safe place. Some of them have emotional baggage at home and school is their second home. They need a place to belong, a place where they can be themselves. Let them enjoy the classes, let them play, and be their friend. Let them hug you, kids are the sweetest.
- Converse with them- Indeed they have pure intentions. I always admire their innocent mind and heart. They would always remind you that life is beautiful.
- Correct them privately- Whenever our students did wrong to others we asked them to go outside the classroom. It isn’t nice that they would be corrected with their classmates unless they are having fistfights inside and you needed to stop them already. Like it’s chaos already, oh it will cause you headaches.
- Catch them when they cheat- I always tell my students it’s better to be zero than to have perfect scores but you cheated. Those little things would produce greater impacts when they become adults. It would be their norm already so better give consequences earlier.
- Say “sorry” when you make mistakes- Yes we should be competent and confident but let them know that we are also imperfect and we make mistakes. Have spaces for mistakes and failures so they would learn best.
- Love them- Love drives out fear. More than they need knowledge and life skills, they need more love. Let them know that you see them, you notice every progress they made, you see their potential and you believe in their dreams. Let them know that you also celebrate their success. Be patient with them.
- Converse with their parents- Listen to them because they know better their children and tell their child’s behavior and progress in school.
- Life to life- This profession would break you a lot of times but it will mold you to be a better and good person. You need to be vulnerable, pouring out your heart, mind, and soul in each lesson. It’s exhausting yet fulfilling when you see your students not only achieve their goals but when you see them having a good name.
Oh, I still have so much to learn in this profession. I’m so grateful for the season of rest. God is indeed great!
To all future teachers, you’re so courageous! Rooting for you.
You then, my child be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus.2 Tim. 2:1
I started teaching when I was in college around 15 years old in Sunday School then I started teaching professionally for five years, then nagpahinga this season like I just tutored some, by God’s grace I regain again my passion.