Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Practicum Teachers: 7 things that you need to get used to

Congratulations, and welcome to teaching practicals. Going back to school can never be fun but let's face it, you're not prepared for the role reversal at first. Every day you keep reminding yourself to use the "staff toilet" because yes, you are now a teacher. Hopefully, you're an adult as well.

Here are 7 instances that will remind you of who you have chosen to become.

1. When students wish you good morning

You love this but it never fails to take you by surprise a little, when you hear a student calling from afar or bowing as they walk past, or smiling and greeting you.

At first you were like "are you talking to me?"
But now you have trained yourself to smile, return greeting, and look superior.

2. When you are called to break up a fight

I'm not talking about returning a ruler that some kid stole from another kid. I mean a real fist fight, or sometimes in my case, a case of possessed students running amok. You forget sometimes that students look to you to solve their problems and handle situations. If you're a new teacher, chances are you won't know what the hell to do. The only handling you can manage is the door handle as you rush out.

Emergency Exit Plan

3. When students try to open up to you

No matter how cold you try to be,  some random student will always look to you for a counselling session. They saw something in you and feel like you would understand their problems. But as a new teacher, you've got 99 problems of your own, and this ITCH ain't one. You're worried that if you take on this student as a patient, you might end up doling out horrendous advice, so you pull the "dont-get-close-to-me-I'm-not-here-to-be-your-friend"... you feel bad about this later, but, meh...

P.S But it's nice that you trust me, kid.

4. When students try to flirt

As a new teacher, the senior students in Form 5 will seem really mature compared to the form one zoo animals you handle all day, sometimes you forget that they are only seventeen years old. And there will be a few who are just so charming or pretty and remind you of your high school crushes. If you catch yourselves smiling at them, do everyone a favour and SLAP yourself. And never make eye contact again, because you don't want to step into that quicksand...If you're a male teacher, female students will know no boundaries when it comes to batting eyelashes. DO NOT ENGAGE. repeat. DO NOT ENGAGE


That's right

5. when you see a student crying

Every once in a while, you will come across some hormonal teenager (most probably a girl) who is sobbing away in a corner (during your class) or looking so sad and/or angry that the people around her look afraid. 

The annoying thing is, this depressed teenager is BENT on getting you to notice her. You have been brought up by the rule, "Cry quietly in your room so that no one sees" so you don't understand what she wants from your life. 

After every few sobs she looks up at you, or she rolls her eyes at everything you say.

Must not make eye contact

 At first you try not to notice...but soon, she sobs louder (or death stares you),  and you attempt to talk to her. You try to sound like a sister, because you think you're young and cool but you end up being as much help as a spoon. 

6. when you're supposed to give them life advice

You don't remember how you got into this, but now, you actually have to advise these kids on life. You've always known smoking was bad, drugs will kill but now you actually have to convince these students because a lot of  them aren't taught it at home. Suddenly you feel overwhelmed by this pressure society has put on your shoulders to educate the young. You end everything with death with the hope that students will be too scared to question further. But they stop taking you seriously after you say MC DONALD'S WILL KILL YOU!

7. When a student gets on your nerves and you want to curse so badly

Like any other 20 something year old, you occasionally swear when something annoys you. Jerk reaction. But in school, it is one big cardinal SIN. You are supposed to assume a role of a perpetually patient being. You told yourself you would never sink that low anyway.

You have had some minor experience fighting with your younger siblings but nothing prepares you for 20 screaming kids who have decided that they have learnt enough for the day. For a second you inhale deeply and wonder what possessed you to enter this field. 

 It takes all of your self control to stop from screaming a profanity. So you calmly walk to the staff toilet mirror and

Because lets face it, when you get together with your practicum-teacher friends, no one wants to hear about the horrible day you had at school. They've been through worse. Neither does anyone want to hear about your awesome day at school. They've got bigger problems. Save it. Deal with it yourself. If you're lucky, you have friends who aren't in the teaching field who find your tales absolutely hilarious!
OMG highlarious!

Don't worry, loads of teachers have been at it for years, so I gather it gets better over time.
Till then, these situations will remain socially awkward, the whole week...till the weekend that is ;)