An ode to our Teachers

An ode to our Teachers

The earliest memory I have of a teacher is one involving my mom. My mom always taught with the most expressive voice and gestures, so all the students (and even teachers!) would find themselves entertained and very much engaged in whatever lesson she was teaching. I would sit in her class of three’s and I, a three-year-old, would seamlessly blend in as one of her students. I looked up to my mom; I wanted to be a teacher just like her! So at home, I would often set up my own classroom, complete with pocket charts and flashcards, and proceed to teach my teddy bears the days of the week.

As I grew up and became a real teacher myself, I realized that being a teacher wasn’t as easy as I thought. I experienced the extensive preparations that happen before class—making the lesson plans, preparing the materials, and thinking of ways to make the class fun. But all the exhaustion magically goes away when you see your student enjoy the class or understand a topic that was previously difficult for him. It makes all the effort worth it.

In the current era of online learning, the respect I have for teachers grew a thousandfold. Being a student myself at this time, I got to witness and experience both sides of the coin. Teachers were forced to adapt quickly to ensure that students still continue learning despite the circumstances. They were forced to learn how to operate Zoom and Canvas, and are continuously challenged to establish a connection with their students through their screens. All this, while thinking about the health and safety of their own families. Yes, it is challenging too as a student, especially when the teacher is not that technology-savvy. But we must remind ourselves to be patient with each other. We are all adjusting to the new normal and teachers are doing their best to adapt to the situation at hand.

As I grew up and became a real teacher myself, I realized that being a teacher wasn’t as easy as I thought. […] But all the exhaustion magically goes away when you see your student enjoy the class or understand a topic that was previously difficult for them. It makes all the effort worth it.

Teachers teach academics, but in between the atoms and molecules and equations and variables, they also impart lessons that we take with us as we grow older. I may not remember the Tricarboxylic Acid Cycle, but I remember that my teacher told me that mistakes are normal and part of the learning process. I may not remember what covalent bonds are, but I remember that my Chemistry teacher felt like a second mom to me. I can only hope that I too may leave a mark on my students that will help them in the challenges they will face beyond the classroom.

🌱 Reflection by Teacher Gwen (originally posted on September 30, 2020 for Teachers’ Month)

Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

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