By Mona Zenhom
As a teacher in an international school in Cairo, I often have difficulty coping with the various struggles I come across day after day. On the other hand, I regularly find myself counting my blessings. Teaching has its challenges for sure, but it can also be very rewarding.
Let’s start with the cons.
Teaching is a thankless job
The majority of the time, we are underappreciated. We make all other professions possible, yet somehow, we’re “just” teachers. Educators often don’t get the respect, social importance or the intellectual validation we deserve.
Kids are rude
Children these days are sometimes very entitled. A lot of kids who have the privilege of attending an international school think they’ve bought you with their money. Some children are bratty, disrespectful, and willfully difficult. Some days, they will do their absolute best to get on your very last nerve. This makes teaching something quite difficult.
Parents can be pushy
Not all, but some parents can be even more difficult than the students. “My kid must sit at the front of the class.” “Who? My little angel? No way he did that, you must have not been doing your job!” These are just a couple of examples. Not only that, if they get a hold of your phone number, forget it. You’ll never be off duty!
Thankfully there are indeed some pros to being a teacher.
The number one perk of being a teacher is getting 2 months of vacation a year. You can’t beat that. You’d be
Seeing a kid’s face light up when they understand
There’s nothing like that feeling when you get to witness knowledge and understanding in action. When your student finally figures something out and that light bulb above their head flicks on, you get a warm feeling of satisfaction. It’s a natural high!
Being part of a team of teachers who inspire one another, collaborate with each other and commiserate when things are rough is truly priceless. You can create lifelong friendships. When you’re a teacher you’ll meet all kinds of amazing people who have the same goal as you. That brings me to the last pro…
Making a difference in students’ lives
That, above all, is our goal as teachers. When students find a connection with their teacher, they care about that subject and are eager to learn it. A kid who feels a bond with their teacher will have a love of knowledge and this fosters curiosity. Who among us doesn’t remember our favorite school teacher?
All in all, society cannot function without teachers. We are the backbone of the schools you entrust your children to. Next time you’re at the parent/teacher conference, remember, teachers are people too.