September 1st, 2014. I remember entering the school with a lot of doubts in my mind. It was the first day of my working experience as a teacher of the English language. The feelings of anxiety prevented me from enjoying this memorable day. While being a pre-service teacher, I could not even imagine that I knew only a HALF of the whole picture. Teaching experience is as enjoyable as drinking water after fitness; at the same time, it is as difficult as learning to drive a car and having poor eyesight. What does bother a first-year teacher? This blog post is not about some pieces of advice but the voice from the teacher who went through it.
A teacher of the English language – sounds great! “When pre-service teachers choose to become teachers to receive external praise, external rewards or because it was prescribed by others, they are acting on extrinsic motives” (Bruinsma & Jansen, p. 186). In my case, it was much of an intrinsic motive. I was willing to become a perfect teacher by giving my students the best of my knowledge and learn from them. I did have this pleasure of becoming a solid whole with my students. I found some hints not to make a pressure on them, but to have a better conversation with my students. A wonderful atmosphere filled all the lessons of English. I was so happy to be a teacher because of it. However, another side added a bit negative part to this story.
What was mentioned before is how the majority of people imagine the teacher profession. I am so lucky that I truly experienced it. Nevertheless, I would not stop here. Plenty of duties goes hand in hand with teaching. Filling pile of documents (paper-based and e-versions), being a curator, communicating with parents, creating concerts, trying host’s outlook, leading students’ research papers – “why not?”. The most significant about this situation is that every teacher faces with it. However, first-year teachers have a more difficult teaching life. Why? Based on my experience, that is because there is no a well-worked mentoring system. If an experienced teacher supported the above mentioned one, a “critical teaching” period would not be so difficult to fight with. The second reason is a lack of proper duties distribution. Teachers are not robots to cover all the deals perfectly at a time. In this sense, I support Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools’ (NIS) system. They have a mentoring system, which is created for a year period; the roles of teachers and curators are faithfully divided. These two great points could change the situation of overloaded teachers’ minds.
January 28th, 2017. I have two years of teaching experience, and now I am getting my Master’s degree in the sphere of Multilingual Education. I am on the way to know the WHOLE picture of Kazakhstani education system. It is my voice about teaching experience which could be compared to a grain of sand in a desert. Would you add anything to this?
Bruinsma, M., & Jansen, E. P. W. A. (2010). Is the motivation to become a teacher related to pre-service teachers’ intentions to remain in the profession? European Journal of Teacher Education, 33(2), 185-200. DOI: 10.1080/02619760903512927
Photo credit to Ayana Mukuzhanova.