To teach or not to teach?

This is a question I have been mulling over for a while. I loved school (geek alert). I was lucky to have some really inspiring teachers who really made their subjects come to life for me. However when it came to university study, teaching didn’t even cross my mind. Why be a teacher when you could be something much more glamorous like a journalist, translator or advertising exec?

I then spent two years in Japan teaching English on the JET Programme. Two of the best years of my life, I admired my co workers, I loved the foreign community and  thoroughly enjoyed building relationships with my students and watching them learn and succeed. I knew I loved teaching in Japan, but teaching outside Japan? I’m sure it would be a much tougher ask.

In comes Teach First, a charity intent on providing equal education for all. They train young graduates on the job by placing them in tough schools, the idea being that their youth and positive energy will be a motivator for the students. It spoke to me, and for the first time I thought, I could be a teacher, I should be a teacher, should I just do it? But with no guarantee I could stay in London while on the two year program, I had to say no.

So I’m still mulling.. but I have taken a small step. I now teach one on one English lessons to a Japanese family once a week. I support a four year old boy to build confidence in his English listening skills and help his housewife mother practice small talk so she can make conversation at the school gates when she drops off her son. It is fast becoming the highlight of my week, I love the creativity it brings out in me.

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