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My Teaching Experience : Early years in the Academe
Inspired by articles of @Jeanethabout the highlights of her teaching career, I would like to share my teaching experience in my early years in the academe.
I started teaching more than 10 years ago, I was 20 back then. A fresh graduate of the same institution. When I graduated I really wanted to have a job right away so that I can have my own income. I applied in offices like National Statistics office and also online through jobstreet.com until our professor told me to apply as faculty of our institution because the program needs a faculty.
So there, I applied and got the job. And now, let me take you to the challenges I experienced in my early years if teaching.
One of the challenges in my first years in teaching is that my students are also my friends way back college days. They were 3rd year students back then, who used to call me my name or Ate and now they are my students. I fell a little bit awkward. But this situation is really asked during my interview, how am I going to handle the students who are my friends before. So I said, I will emphasize to them that in the classroom I am the faculty and I have the authority in the handling the class. Outside the classroom, we can still be friends as we used to be.
But it was not easy. It took me time to build the rapport of faculty and student. There were times that in the class they were noisy, there's to much familiarity that I am at times bothered. But thanks to God, through time I learn to manage the situation.
Another challenge is I that don't have a formal training in teaching. Since I am an IT graduate, the course did not have trainings on teaching styles, teaching methodologies, assessments. So what I did was practice and read, and learn from the other senior faculty. So I can really say that one can improve through practice and through. Also, my experience in teaching kids in the church help me in my journey.
Aside from those, the age gaps also matters. I have students who were older than me. Aside from being a young faculty, I was also thin and small, so they could not even believe I am their faculty. But I ask them that I need the respect due for a faculty and I am respecting them as older than me, but in the class, I will be the one to do the classroom management and they should do, what they ought to do.
My first years in teaching is really challenging, I experienced crying because of a student attitude that I cannot handle. I experienced not able to answer a student question right away because I have not read it yet or tried it yet. I also experienced having a conflict with a student because of his conduct in my class. But looking back on those days, I can really say that it helped me to what I have become today. Those challenges, are nothing compared to the victories that I see in the success of my first students in my teaching career.
What I shared mostly are challenges, because I want you to know that in every job, its not a comfortable feeling right away. You might think a perfect situation, but it will always be an "expectation versus reality". It is a matter of how you handle the situation. It will take time for adjustment, for learning and your attitude, determination matters most.
Thanks for reading this article. I would really love to know your thoughts and experience. Give a comment below and let's talk about it.