Friday, December 3, 2010

A Passion for Teaching


I simply love teaching! Teaching, above all else, brings me great joy. My first teaching experience was when I was in the secondary school (Form 3) when my friends asked me to help them with the science subject. In Form four and five, I taught my friends Chemistry and in the school I was known as “chemistry wizard”. When I graduated in 1986 during the economic slump, I took up teaching in private school while waiting to get a permanent job. That experience was very exciting and rewarding and led me to choose teaching as a lifetime career. I genuinely enjoy teaching and cannot imagine myself doing anything else. I still teach every class with excitement and enthusiasm as if I am teaching it for the first time.

Passion and patience—I believe these two elements are utmost important in all good educators. Passion and love for the subject is essential and it can do wonders in terms of the tangible benefit for the students! I show my enthusiasm of the subject during teaching from the facial expression and voice intonation. I can imagine having a teacher without these qualities will lead to a boring lecture and there will then be a lack of interest in learning on the students’ part. As for patience, we need a lot of it because students come in different “forms” and attitudes!

Christopher Day in his book A Passion for Teaching writes, "All effective teachers have a passion for their subject, a passion for their pupils and a passionate belief that who they are and how they teach can make a difference in their pupils’ lives, both in the moment of teaching and in the days, weeks, months and even years afterwards. Passion is associated with enthusiasm, caring, commitment, and hope, which are themselves key characteristics of effectiveness in teaching. For teachers who care, the student as a person is as important as the student as a learner. That respect for person-hood is likely to result in greater motivation to learn".

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