Respire

These last few weeks have felt like most of my students have been in a competition to see who could get me to pull my hair out first. It’s felt like no amount of patience and breathing would be enough to bear their shenanigans. I got through the term with my sanity intact and grateful for the non-teaching week.

I’m thankful for the challenges because I know that in the long run, all of this culminates in my becoming a better teacher. I also realised that I became frustrated simply because I care about them and I feel that they are capable of so much more than what they give themselves credit for. It frustrated me to see them wasting away their chances at genuine learning and improvement and resorting to cheating in tests just so they can make the mark and pass.

There are days when I feel like I’m a terrible teacher who isn’t making any sort of gain or difference in these kids’ lives–I call them kids even if they’re technically adults already–and then I’ll receive a message from one of them expressing gratitude and telling me how I have made a difference. That’s when I know that the trials are worth it. If I can reach one in a dozen, maybe I’m doing something right.

I was meant to be a teacher. It wasn’t always evident, but I know now that this is where I’m supposed to be. Maybe not forever, but for now.

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