Go Ahead and Teach

I’m tired.  I’m just tired of dealing with people who don’t give a hoot about what a teacher really feels. If life offered me a choice, I would rather stay inside the classroom forever. Within these four walls, I find solace and joy with my students despite their rowdiness.  The exchange of ideas and a bit of laughter on the side stoke the ember that fuels my elan to teach and somehow make a difference in their lives.

But every time I leave the classroom, I am suddenly transported into a different world. And as I step out, I feel like being prostrated to the ground. And everything just becomes  ordinary.  The laughters turn to gripes. The mitzvoth vacillate into suspicions.

Now, I found myself on the verge of exasperation.  People can be so inconsiderate sometimes. On my end, I am fully aware that I’m just an ordinary voiceless teacher who has to follow whenever his righteous superior curb him with chain of ill-considered decisions.  But then again, must I understand that academic policies cover such decisions? Must I hold back compassion when directives keep me away from being a real teacher? Must I throw myself into a bottomless pit and be swallowed by threats of incompetence?

Some people think that it’s easy to become a teacher.  Other teachers think that preparing for a lesson happens overnight.  “Give him the load, he can do it.”  Easy for them to say.  Unless they equate teaching with film showing or library work or bragging about their academic titles.  Being a teacher takes more that that.  It takes more that just sitting behind the table and read the handouts verbatimly to the class or performing a stand-up comedy that boosts the ego.

This day, I had to give up one of my classes and replace it with another subject.  A major subject.  The boss explained the reason behind the decision and honestly my ears were plugged figuratively.  Simple as that.  Whatever his explanation was, it’s clear to me that I had to sacrifice those weeks, those times, those lessons, those discussions, those learnings I and my students shared for weeks.  It left me no choice.  Who am I to complain?  Despite my aversion, I still subjected myself to say Yes, when in truth, the teacher in me says No.

That’s the irony of it.


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