Thinking aloud

Before I was a slave, I was a teacher. I used to teach people about the joys of the English language and all its secret nooks and crannies, and there are many of those if you know where to look.

Like ‘breakfast’.

When you start out learning English, you get told, ‘In English, xxx is breakfast’ and you memorise it and all is good. No-one tells you what ‘breakfast’ actually means though – that it’s ‘breaking the fast you were doing while you were sleeping’.

I remember the first time I taught my students that and they were all “Ooh”ing and “Ahh”ing and looking at me like I had invented air or something. Those were the moments I really enjoyed teaching and quite often they made up for all the endless hours of marking and lesson planning that went on after class, in the evenings and on my weekends.

Then I had a great idea about teaching Japanese and enjoying the same sense of satisfaction I got when I was teaching English. I had images of much ‘ooh’ing and ‘ahh’ing when people found out that ‘konnichi wa’ means ‘Today is…’ and what started out as a sentence discussing the weather as in, “Today is warm”, over time became shortened to just, ‘Today is…”.

So I went back to university and got my piece of paper that said I could teach in high school and quite frankly I hoofed it out of the classroom as soon as I could. Teaching speakers of English another language is a very different beast indeed. Well, it wasn’t so much the teaching, but the ‘herding of the cattle’ that I struggled with and probably more so because I’ve never had kids of my own to practise screaming at.

But I still like teaching and subconsciously, that’s what I do when I blog. I like to make it a meaningful experience and perhaps make people think a little about something.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my work and how meaningless it is. I don’t contribute to anything, I don’t help anyone, I don’t even have anything to do half the time! (which would be slightly more funny if it wasn’t completely true…lol.) It’s a very meaningless existence to someone who spent a great deal of time trying to help people learn and understand.

I guess the question I’m asking myself is, should I try to get back into teaching?

For someone like me who is intrinsically shy, standing in front of a room full of people is quite intimidating. You’ve also got to know your stuff and have to be ready to field questions from left field like, ‘Miss, what does, ‘You’re a fucking bastard!’ mean?’

And that’s my whole problem at the moment because where I am and what I am doing is very ‘safe’. I haven’t been out of my comfort zone for quite a while and it’s damn scary. But sometimes I really think I need the push. I need the challenge and the stimulus or I’m just going to devolve into some turd under a rock sooner or later.


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