My Journey as a relief teacher

(This post by Miss Lydia Neo first appeared here on Domain of Singapore Tutoring Experts on 11 March 2013.)

Today, I've a reason to smile...

Recounting the past two weeks has been eventful.

Initially, I was feeling apprehensive, not knowing what to expect. I had hoped it would be a simple job, considering the short duration. However, I was proven otherwise - I had to literally teach and manage a maximum of 4 classes per day.

The first week was definitely challenging.

I was totally clueless - it was my first time teaching, not to mention having to face 11 students all by myself in a room! Fear overcame me, but this thought surfaced throughout: it's either you defeat them, or you get defeated by them.

A new day, a new class.

There were times I felt like throwing in the towel.

Some days the students were like little angels, obeying my instructions, quietly scribbling on their worksheets.

On other days, I met little devils (to the extent that banging the tables and screaming at the top of my lungs were useless). Perhaps it was due to the young look I had which didn't seem to have an impact on them. They remained indifferent despite knowing their relief teacher was fuming. They fought, threw objects across the classroom and talked as if they were at a wet market. Nevertheless, that day passed. And the remaining days were smoother.

During my last few days at the centre, the students were cooperative and thoughtful (especially those from a particular class).

That evening, lesson was as usual. Unsure if it was fate, but some had to remain behind to complete some assignments. What attracted me to that class was the indescribable attachment I felt. Though they were a pain in the neck, I particularly enjoyed teaching them.

After that night, I treated them more like younger siblings than students. We could talk about anything, there wasn't anything separating the "teacher-student" relationship. (My realization: not only should a successful teacher needs to know the way of imparting knowledge, he/she should treat students the way they deserve to be treated. Sometimes, the hard approach might not be the most appropriate measure).

This 2 week stint, albeit short, will always be etched in my memory.

Will never forget those innocent smiles and stressful moments which contributed to my journey as a relief teacher, moments that made teaching seemed enjoyable and unforgettable.

"The mediocre teacher tells, the good teacher explains, the superior teacher demonstrates, the great teacher inspires." - William Arthur Ward

By: Lydia Neo (Miss)


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