Teen Ink on Twitter
Teaching is one of those jobs that everyone thinks they can do, until they try it out and find out really how tough a job it really is. I had the same delusion, that I could do a typical teachers job on a typical teacher’s day that is until I was a teacher myself and discovered that the difficulty of trying to make a kid pay attention to anything for more than a few minutes is downright preposterous, much less trying to teach them something. I had decided to enroll in an internship with DIL (Developments in literacy), a non-profit organization that operate student-centered model schools for under privileged children in remote areas of Pakistan.
So I was put in charge of teaching a group of kids from grades 4 and 5 about our huge solar system and those fascinating things called spacecraft. Now I had close to zero knowledge about what goes on way above our heads. Don’t think me and my fellow internees were just thrown in classrooms and told to teach whatever we knew; we were under the strict guidance of a properly qualified teacher who had us research a ton of facts about space. This resulted in spending hours in front of the computer screen, scrolling down numerous web pages reading up about anything and everything that seemed relevant. This is when I first started to realize that being a teacher is no walk in the park, you really have to know your stuff and that involves a lot of research.
During the first lesson, a new problem presented itself, most kids didn’t seem interested in what I was trying to teach them, I guess they didn’t really care about the endless barrage of mundane facts but then again I couldn’t blame them. However their eyes seemed to instantaneously light up when I tried to tell something in a funny way. So one of the challenges of teaching is taking something dull and boring and putting a fun twist on it, in a way that really captures the imagination and interest of a child. One of us came up with the idea to have them build models of the solar system and space shuttles, and can you guess what that meant? Yep, more research.
Once we had managed to capture the interest of these kids, teaching them was a lot more fun. They soaked up all knowledge we had to give and then asked for more. Which in turn got me thinking, what if these kids were given the proper facilities, trained teachers and proper equipment? They could be competing with most of Pakistan’s elite schools. All of these kids are from under-privileged backgrounds; their parents are making huge sacrifices to finance their educations. Most of them even have small jobs, such as polishing shoes or taking care of their family’s livestock. Yet even with all the odds stacked against them, they still have a reason to smile and taught me to truly treasure the small things in life.
Critique is appreciated. Thanks.
First off, I feel like the topic is a good one, you could have been a bit more out there with it. The paragraph that I would have to say that I enjoyed reading the most was the one about how you were trying to put a twist on teaching and give them a new experience, which as a student, is what I look for in education; it truly does help students learn and retain information at a faster rate. I would like to add that there were a lot of grammatical errors in this, and I feel like if you were to just re-read this you would probably catch a handful of them. Overall, the topic was interesting, I just think that you could have done more with it.