I am a teacher.
It was not me who chose the profession. I think it was the profession that chose me.
It happens. When we are at the age when we have to make the choice which often determines all our future, our mind seems to be on other things, things that we consider so enormously important at the point in time. Perhaps, this does not happen to everyone. There are children who seem to know what they really want and aspire to. Sometimes these dreams turn out to be the ones of their parents though. And yet, time always tells if the choice is right or wrong. But what is right and wrong? Just a question of perception and attitude to life. Even if we are not satisfied with prevailing circumstances, isn’t it better to say to ourselves, “It’s all for the best. You have to appreciate what you have. The road of my whole life has been leading me here, to this place where I am now. This journey has shaped my identity and, for what it’s worth, I’ve got my experience, knowledge and wisdom.” Having said and, most importantly, believed that, you can see how everything around you is taking a new shape and changing to a new brighter color. Your life changes then. It changes for the better… And I really do believe what I’m saying or, to be more precise, writing.
Today I am a young but energetic and, hopefully, productive teacher with some experience in working with students from 11 countries of the world. When I was going to college, I didn’t even think about whether I would practice my profession (yes, it’s so childish and infantile of me). I was sure there was a musician, a singer inside of me, that music was the only right thing I should be doing in my life. However, when someone asked me to play the guitar or sing something after several years of going to music school, I still had to overcome an overwhelming fear, which I usually wasn’t able to do. Even so, my hands and knees shaking, I responded to the requests of those asking me, usually getting compliments. But the sound of their voices couldn’t drown out my pounding heart.
So, I’ve come to the conclusion that abandoning my teenage dream and yielding to pressure from my mother, I was able to stay mentally healthy, and even become a useful person (again, it’s so pleasant to harbor such illusions). I love my job, which, in my humble opinion, is not just teaching a course… In Japanese teacher is sensei. In English this Japanese word is used to refer to a martial arts instructor. But in Russian, for example, sensei means a wise, enlightened teacher. Well, I really love the word sensei… I can hardly be called a paragon of wisdom and enlightenment, but I think this is what a teacher should aspire to, no matter the subject they teach, – to become a sensei in the best sense of the word. The teacher should help and guide. He or she is not a walking encyclopedia or thesaurus. It is a person with a good heart who knows something but, most importantly, knows how to learn something new and loves doing it. This is what they have to teach their students…