Joy of teach­ing

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Bright Kids - By Dr Elsie Chin, master trainer at Cam­bridge English for Life (CEFL)

TEACH­ING is a fas­ci­nat­ing chal­lenge be­cause it re­ally is about learn­ing – there is an­other per­son in­volved in all of this.

In the an­i­mated movie Peter Pan, Peter tries to teach Wendy and her broth­ers to fly. Fly­ing is com­pletely sec­ond na­ture to Peter, how­ever, so de­scrib­ing that process be­comes im­pos­si­ble. For­tu­nately, Tinker­bell’s pixie dust fixes ev­ery­thing.

In the process of teach­ing and learn­ing, we are al­ways look­ing for this pixie dust. I love this process of con­tin­u­ously in­vent­ing means to un­der­stand.

I love who I am when I am teach­ing. The “me” that comes out in the class­room sings, dances, uses big words and is con­fi­dent. Most of all, this “me” gets to make sto­ries that at­tempt to ex­plain con­cepts, struc­tures and ideas to peo­ple, from chil­dren to adults. This “me” gets to look for that elu­sive pixie dust.

The in­flu­ences in my life that have driven me to teach have been my own teach­ers, both in and out of class­rooms, and I model my teach­ing as­pi­ra­tions after them.

The great­est teacher I have known is my mother. My home is filled with her wis­dom in phrases such as “We wear our nice clothes when we have visi­tors” and “We must fin­ish what­ever food is on our plate”. She taught me a great deal about lis­ten­ing, ex­press­ing my­self and be­com­ing a mother.

All my great teach­ers have made me want to learn more by in­still­ing a sense of won­der in me. A teacher gets to wit­ness learn­ing, con­fu­sion, com­pre­hen­sion, frus­tra­tion, change, pas­sion, aware­ness – the very things that seem to be at the core of hu­man­ity.

I don’t teach be­cause I have an al­tru­is­tic goal of mak­ing the world a bet­ter place; I teach be­cause it makes me feel alive. It al­lows me to be the per­son that I, com­pletely self­ishly, want to be. –

CEFL con­ducts tu­to­ri­als to pre­pare can­di­dates for the Cam­bridge In­ter­na­tional Diploma in Teach­ing and Learn­ing.

For more in­for­ma­tion, call Chris­tine Looi at 03-7883 0912 or e-mail chris­tine@ cam­bridge­for­life.org.

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