I never wanted to be a teacher. I didn’t really enjoy school all that much.
In fact, I wanted to be a Barrister- but then I failed law in my first year at college. Like, really failed law. Like trying to quiet a wind chime after stumbling into it in the dark at 3am. That big of a failure.
So ok, plan B. Educational Psychologist. I loved psychology and thought it loved me in return. Turns out it didn’t.
I didn’t have a plan C.
It was actually my mum who suggested teaching. She thought I was a natural at it. In retrospect, I did show some of the skills needed to teach. Kids loved me, I had patience with them when we played together or I tried to show them how to do something and I was enthusiastic about the whole process. But never has there been a more vehement refusal to do something, as there was when she suggested the teaching profession to me.
‘Urgh teaching? No way! How depressing! I hated school, I hated college, teachers are idiots, kids are horrible! Why would I want to do that for a living?’ Etc. Etc. Etc.
But, I had to admit I was good at it. And in the interim between college and figuring out what I wanted to do at university, I got myself a job as a teaching assistant.
And the rest, as they say, is history.
Nearly 10 years down the line and I have been a 1:1 TA; a general English classroom TA; an English Teacher for teenagers between eleven and 16; a Special Educational Needs teacher for primary and secondary aged pupils; an in-house tutor for two young boys in Australia; an online tutor for ESL adults and a conversational tutor for adults who just want a coffee and to practice their English. I’ve done it all.
In between these roles, I travelled significantly. I became the Global Coordinator for a mainstream school in England and caught the bug there, travelling to Zimbabwe, South Africa, Germany and Spain, hosting students and staff from India, China, Lebanon and all over Europe.
Suddenly, the classroom was too small for me and I had to get out and see the world.
Now there’s no going back.
Don’t tell my mother, but I love teaching. Tutoring online gives me the best of both worlds. I can have these amazing experiences with my students and I can do it from an airbnb in Switzerland or from an internet cafe in Barcelona. I can use these personal experiences to improve my teaching style and to reach a broader spectrum of people. Personally, I think there is more to teaching than a classroom and a grammar quiz. It was the connections I missed: the people.
So I’m back. Pencil behind my ear and headphones poised. Who knows who I’ll meet in my next lesson, and where we’ll be as we learn.
Bring it on!