Teachers are considered to be a bastion of power, filled with confidence, intelligence, reserves of patience and plenty of calm.
However, we sometimes forget that they are human too and prone to very human emotions. It is wrong to say that the ideal teacher is a teacher who has only good attributes and no negative ones. Teachers face intense pressure to act like everything is fantastic, and as a result, they overwork and stress themselves out, trying to achieve something that is not possible.
Here are 6 reasons why its okay to be less than perfect.
1. Its Okay to Not Know What to do – Teachers are usually expected to have all the answers, come what may. As a result, some teachers may overstretch themselves because they feel like they need to know everything lest they be caught unawares. What teachers have to keep in mind is that there is no one person in the world who knows everything in the world. Not even the best and most experienced teachers in the world have all the answers in the world. Besides, there is nothing wrong with telling your students you don’t know the answer to something. Don’t teach your students the fallacy that adults have all the answers.
2. It’s Okay To Be Scared – Because how long can a teacher put up a front of being brave? Teacher training college prepares you for many things; however, a real world teaching environment is always different from all that you have learnt (most of which is theory). And theory always differs from practice. It’s okay to be scared about doing new things, teaching young students, taking on a lot of responsibility. What is important is that you don’t let the fear get the better of you and cripple you as a result.
3. Its Okay To Feel Angry – Some days are going to be terrible. Right from the first class onwards, you are going to be confronted with recalcitrant children who testing your patience. As the day wears on, it does not get any better and you might end up having an angry outburst. Your class might look suitably chastised and might tread on eggshells around you after that. But really, losing your temper is what any person to do when they have been goaded beyond endurance. Losing your temper and yelling is fine. Resorting to violence, crude language or extremely harsh words on the other hand is not so fine.
4. Its Okay To Want To Tell An Overzealous Parent To Shut Up – For the record most parents are polite and well-mannered and will listen to you and talk to you like actual adults with children do. However, there are some parents who will brandish their child’s report card in front of your face, demand that you give the child A grades, ride roughshod over your teaching style, make comments about your abilities as a teacher etc. These obnoxious parents are going to make you want to push them off a cliff, even if the child in question is actually a pretty decent student. Fear not that you possess murderous/violent impulses. There are hundreds of teachers along with you who have dearly longed to tell an overzealous parent to shut up. Count to ten and let these parents pass by. As long as nobody knows about how murderous you are feeling, and more importantly, as long you don’t give in to those urges, you are good to go.
5. Its Okay To Take Time Off For Yourself – No teacher is on call 24/7 and neither should you be. There is always going to be a mountain of work to get through. Sometimes you can power through it, sometimes you cannot. Do not let work consume you. Take time for yourself, ensure that you get adequate rest. You cannot work around the clock, pay no attention to the personal side of things and expect everything to go swimmingly well. Do not feel guilty about all the work that is lying around undone. If you are doing your best to work through it, then your guilt is completely unfounded. Besides you are not the only teacher shrinking at the thought of sitting at her desk and going through swathes of assignments, homework books etc.
6. Its Okay To Want To Quit – Sometimes, you are going to have such awful days or weeks that you are more than ready to quit and just not do anything at all. Your friends and colleagues might tell you something along the lines of: only cowards quit or, you have to be strong and get through this and many other phrases in the same vein. However, here is the thing. Its okay to want to give up your job when everything seems to be bogging you down. You are not alone in that respect. There are plenty of professionals out there who entertain notions of quitting their jobs when everything seems to be going wrong. There’s only one thing you need to remember during times like these. And that is: a positive frame of mind goes a long way towards to making the situation better. If you feel like quitting, think about why you wanted to become a teacher in the first place, the aspects of teaching that you like the best. Hopefully, your bad times will become good ones and the urge to quit should dissipate.