As a kid, I wanted to be a teacher. It wasn’t the only thing I wanted to be but it was certainly one of those things that stuck with me. Now that I look back, I can understand why.
I started my schooling in India. And lets just say that it wasn’t the best experience of my childhood. I went to a private, catholic school for girls. Over-crowded classrooms, exhaustive amounts of note taking, strict teaching methods and homework galore. That’s what I remember about my schooling in India. It never sat well with me or rather I couldn’t sit still. I often got in trouble for not completing work and talking too much. Its wasn’t so much as my inability to do work but a sheer lack of interest. I wanted play, run outside and be free. No one seemed to understand that. But all I got was sitting still and taking notes. There were literally no subjects that I enjoyed. At all.
Then at the age of 8, we moved. Not to another town, or locality. We moved halfway across the world. New Zealand. And as for my schooling, it was the best decision my parents made. I started year 4, at a local primary school at the start of 2001. I remember that day so vividly. I was the only kid not in uniform. I was put in Room 1 and my teacher’s name was Mrs McLean. She was an older woman, already greying and very wrinkled. I was paired with Fiona, a little red-haired girl, who was supposed to help me and show me around. My new class was half the size of those in India, with a maximum of 30 kids. I had my own desk and hook to hang my bag and coat. The classroom itself was colourful and bright. There were posters and artwork on the walls. There was a corner with board games, toys and books. An area dedicated to art supplies. Another empty area with mats and cushions. I was excited and overwhelmed.
As my time in this new school continued, I began to notice how different things were. We learnt so many things, some the same as in India, like maths and science. But we also did social science/topic studies, handwriting, reading, spelling, PE, music and my personal favorite, Art. I excelled in most things. Probably because I had already covered these areas in India, where the curriculum is much tougher. But I discovered my love for reading and more so my love for art. Mrs Bateman, was my art teacher and I will never forget the first time we did art in class. We started off by sketching shapes and lines, and that evolved to drawing animals, painting, using pastels, collage and lots of other things. It was all amazing. Yet what I remember the most about all of this, was not the actual act of doing work. It was the encouragement and involvement of my teachers. I remember being rewarded for doing good work and being encouraged when I wasn’t. I wasn’t punished or ridiculed. I was uplifted and inspired. And I actually wanted to learn.
This. This was it. This is what made me want to teach. I wanted that for other children. I wanted to be that for others.
Today, I’m not a Teacher. I didn’t follow that path. Over the years I have thought about it but I realise that maybe it’s not the path for me. Although I love children and teaching, I don’t see myself teaching for the rest of my life. I volunteer as a Girl Guide leader and that’s enough for me. I enjoy being involved with the development of young girls and encouraging them to be their best selves. I amazing to see how they grow, and change in just 2 years. I have gotten emails for parents saying how happy they are to see their child flourish and come out of their shell.
So I didn’t become a teacher but I still get to do for other young girls what I had done for me. To be a source of encouragement and inspiration. I’m glad I could do that much. That’s reward enough.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Futures Past.”