Not a long time ago I was walking home when I bumped into my former student. In fact, she was one of my first students ever and I hadn´t seen her since she left the primary school.
A part of our conversation was something like this:
Me: "And what do you do now? What are you studying?"
Her: (with a big grin) "Me? Well, I am not studying. I work in the shop there and there."
Me: (totally confused) "Really? I am sorry, but can I ask you how old you are?"
Her: "I am twenty-two."
Me: "Oh, gosh! I am very sorry, I should call you a Miss and not by your first name!"
Her: "Please, don´t! I would feel akward. I am still your student, you know."
Me: "Ok, then. So you have moved recently?"
Her: "Yes, I live there and there now. And do you still live in (the name) Street?
Me: "You remember the name of the street I lived in?"
Her: "Well, yeah... of course."
So. The conclusion: I have been teaching for eleven years now, which means that some of my students are not children any more and I should get use to it. And the fact she has remembered the name of the street I lived in when I was teaching her, well, that was amazing. And I hope it showed something.
I came to class. It was in year 7 (kids about 13 years old). We said hello, the lesson was about to start. And suddenly I saw a boy coming to my desk with something in his hand. He was one of those tough guys. And he asked me:
Him:"Miss, have you had a snack already?"
Me: "No, why are you asking?"
Him: (with the most bored and impassive voice he was able to produce) "I bought this croissant and I am not going to eat it."
He handed me the croissant, still in an unopened plastic package. And he continued with the same voice:
Him: "You know, it is filled with chocolate. A lot of chocolate. And I don´t know what to do with it, as I am not going to eat it. So here you are."
And he turned round and went back to his desk.
One of his classmates shouted: "So give it to me! I would eat it!" And he replied, now with a very strong and offensive voice:"No! It is for Miss D!."
The conclusion: Some teachers get apples. I got a croissant. And it was so lovely how he tried to look like he didn´t care.
There are teachers who can open the whole new worlds to you. I remember every single of them, those who influenced me. There were just few of them during my primary and secondary studies. Which is quite sad. But at my university studies it is a completely opposite, there are lots of amazing teachers.
I have been teaching for eleven years. I was able, and still am, to see a lot of different approaches to teaching. I have learned a lot during those years from some amazing professionals. And I also know the way I would never behave to my students. Being a teacher is not just about presenting a new grammar, or to give a lecture. Sometimes you have to be a good psychologist, and sometimes even an understanding mother/father figure. Always being fair, without prejudice, and a sense of humour is welcomed, too.
Sometimes it is very hard not to get your bad mood infiltrate to your lessons. And sometimes I just do not feel like talking at all. But there are situations which tell me that perhaps I do something right. Like the two situations described above. I love being a teacher. And even I am sometimes tired of everything and everybody, I know why I do this job. And the croissant and other thank-you things and actions are the best reward.