Passion For teaching - Newbie version. . .

My entry today was initially intended to be a comment for Pn. Rahmah's 'Passion For Teaching'.  Well, if you really know me, I'm not the type of person who knows how to go straight to the point of what I'm trying to say.  So, anyways, I just HAD to say what was on my mind when I read Pn. Rahmah's entry on her blog.

So, its been almost a year of teaching for me.  Until today, I find it quite hard to focus on one job when I'm at school let alone have time to really think of the most important matter for me which is to teach English.
So, why the problem?

As a newbie, I have been given a lot of work for the sake of experience in various fields. Here are some of the various works that have been handed down to me (I have a few more positions that I hold, but I don't mention here because of the very little responsibility I hold in those positions):
  • Class Teacher
  • Committee for Ponteng Sifar - every month, I am required to make an analysis of students' attendance
  • Volleyball and Athletics Coach - training is done almost everyday in Semester 1
  • Archery teacher - training is done every day in Semester 2 (our school just started having the archery club in Semester 2) and archery courses are sometimes done during PnP hours
So, this may seem like a small list of work that I do at school but they are among the work given to me that I feel has taken up most of my teaching time. Please do not see me listing my work as showing off bout what I do at school.  I am only attempting to give a clearer view of my situation in hopes of getting advices from other more experienced teachers.

So, here goes my story as a newbie teacher in a Malaysian school.  

I started working early this year with hopes of developing skills in teaching English but by the end of the year, I developed more skills as a coach (since I'm new, it's not like I can decline any work given to me)! Don't get me wrong because I'm not complaining. Being a coach has developed my skills in teaching my students to become mentally stronger because an athlete does not only require strength physically. And fortunately for me, the Physical Education (PE) teacher in my school is very keen on sharing his knowledge in educating youngsters (as you can see, I am not using the word 'students' because I personally feel that he has helped me understand how to speak and treat youngsters to help them grow mentally and physically stronger in a very subtle way)

Anyhow, with regards to teaching English, I feel there's so much more for me to learn (and my skills haven't really developed because of the lack of PnP hours that I have done - not blaming anybody else though).  I still remember crying because I felt guilty that I have not been teaching my students that well and also feeling like I have been neglecting them by not entering class (this shows when they can't recall what I have taught since I sometimes am not able to do follow up activity).  Mind you, I feel like I am very passionate about my job but I sometimes wonder: 'Is it not enough to be passionate and willing to do almost anything for the growth of my students?'.  Some teachers tell me I shouldn't think too much of the students.  But in what situation is it considered to be 'too much' or 'just enough'?  

I remember talking to a friend of mine while in teaching college and saying 'Where are we supposed to draw the line?'. Back then, all we could do was say 'Maybe experience will answer our questions.'  But after a almost a year of teaching, I can't help but think: What happens if we aren't able to perform during our first year of teaching?  It still affects the students we teach, right?  So, what are newbies supposed to do or think during their first year of teaching?  I have so many questions to ask, and I have gone through a lot of emotions.  Unfortunately, I have heard of some of my friends who have lost their passion for teaching even in the first year.  I remember my lecturer telling me that we would loose our passion at one point in our teaching career - oh boy, was I scared when he said that! But it is true, this year, I have already felt that.  But I'm grateful to Allah that when I felt down, out of the blue, a student of mine came up to me and said 'Teacher! Saya tak pernah dapat markah lebih 50.  English memang fun la teacher!'  But I can't really see what I did right and whether it was enough that this particular student of mine only obtained 55 marks in her exam.

So, am I being passionate in doing my job? Is having passion enough to help me become a better teacher? I mean, it does involve more than just passion, right? So, what else should I be doing? Do ALL newbies have the same thoughts as me? Or should I be satisfied with my friends' response that 'I'm thinking too much'? With all the work I'm given, is it possible for me to be always passionate? Questions, questions, questions....answers anyone? (~_~) hurmmm....



Jarod Yong said...

It's good that you want to teach more & you have a desire to be a good teacher.

Perhaps you should speak to your superiors about this? If you never ask, they will never know?
Talk to your KP, Ketua Bidang, PK1 & Pengetua about what you want to do next year so they can include you in their plans.

I'm sure they'll appreciate your proactive gesture.

SarahDin said...

Truth is, I have. I have tried of pulling out my name from some of the activities. With me being sick (spinal injury) I can't really be that active anymore. But seems like they don't think its the best move for me.
Maybe for now, as a newbie, they feel the best thing is that I be trained to do A LOT of work. Maybe if other new teachers come they'd let me off the hook? Well, maybe lah...
Guess I'll do my best to enjoy myself. Don't wanna seem like I'm demanding for things when I'll be only at my 2nd year of teaching next year.
Thanx for the suggestion,Jarod! I'll see if I can try talking to my superiors (again) next year ;)

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~ an English teacher, an eager learner and still figuring out what it really means to be a TEACHER

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