I know you’re shy and sometimes feel out of place and time. But listen to me: your choice of a teaching career was not by chance. Your Secondary School English teacher saw in you a great potential for languages, in his case – English – and dear old Mr. Santiago – the green cab driver at church, saw your potential as a teacher; and God led the way.
Yes, you will be scared sometimes. At times some students will seem to know more than you. And more mature as well (Chuckles). But you will inspire them to keep on learning and you will learn to get them to contribute to your lessons with what they already know.
Yes, teaching 8th graders will not be easy and due to your lack of experience and support you will feel as if you’ve failed and want to quit. But years later you will come across some of your former students who will thank you for the lessons and for the inspiration.
You will have to wake up really early in the morning (5:30am) in order to get to your in-company classes in time and your last class will finish at 10:30pm. Hard work will not make you sick, though, just keep focused and do your best. Those crazy hours will also pass.
Remember to stay professional at all times with your students. Yes, you may socialize with them – but remember your job is to teach them not to simply be their friends.
Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are “simply” a teacher, or because you are a language teacher who has never been able to travel abroad and who lacks international exposure.
In a few more years you will have had the privilege to visit and even teach in different countries. You will preach in English at a church in Cape Town, South Africa. You will be a teacher of English in the US, Canada and Ireland. You will speak English and Spanish in China. Hard to believe? Yes, but God has amazing things in store for us all. Just wait and see.
In 27 years you will have reached the top of your career as a self-employed teacher but there will not be time to rest in your laurels, you will have to be continuously reinventing yourself and selling your services, training new teachers, presenting conferences on ELT – yes, I know it’s hard to believe me since you don’t even own a landline phone at home or a car but some day you will be teaching via FaceTime video (better than via satellite) across the globe. Don’t ask me for details, not even I know how it works today.
Keep on learning, growing, doing your best and you will reap the rewards. I know.
Cheers and great teaching,