Thursday, April 24, 2014

What is a "Real Teacher"?

So I’ve been working in Korea for a little over 4 months now and I am loving it!

Of course there are the good days, the days that go according to plan, and the days where I wish I could run away from the students and never see them again. I am in a school with 8 Korean teachers, who teach in English, and 8 foreign teachers. This week I used an interactive whiteboard, which I was told has not been properly used since no one knows how to. They just make a PowerPoint presentation and use the pen to click, which is still amusing for most students. But when the power is in the students hand to move an image, WOW! They are sitting quietly with their hand up AND listening intently. Amazing!

I was talking with some of the foreign teachers I work with, talking about teacher things, like students we like, students we really try to like, lesson plans, ideas, and all the usual things. I have heard time and time again that I have some neat ideas and that “It must be so nice being a ‘real’ teacher”. “You know how to use an interactive whiteboard because you’re a ‘real teacher’. You know where to find fun and engaging activities because you are a “real teacher”. Yes it’s true. I really am a teacher, but so are they!
We all show up to work in the morning, prepare lessons and engaging activities and we interact and teach, or some days we attempt to teach, our students. We all talk about “our kids” and the proud moments we have of them! We are all teachers.

Maybe their university training did not lead them into pursuing a Bachelor of Education or an education related field, but I can confirm with them that some of the “real teachers” out there do less teaching than they are doing. Just because I have training to be a teacher back home does not mean I am a better teacher in a different country with students who are learning to speak English. I know I have a different approach and access to different resources in my network of friends who are teachers, but we are all real teachers, teaching real students, real things.

Here is to all the interns, teachers, and people who teach who do not feel like you are a "real teacher". 
 I hope one day you realize that you really are a REAL TEACHER.

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