What it’s like to Teach

I have been thinking about the best way to describe what it is like to teach. Using a sports analogy I will compare teaching to the game of golf. If you have ever played golf, you know it can be one of the most frustrating activities you ever attempt. Whether it’s shanking or slicing the ball from the tee, landing in a bunker or the water, or missing an easy putt, golf can drive you mad. But in the course of a round of golf there might be one maybe even two moments where you hit a great shot and it makes you feel so good you forget about all the horrible shots you made before and you feel invigorated to come back, try harder, get better, and do it all over again the next day.

Teaching is a lot like golf. The majority of the time I’m frustrated with it. Whether it’s making lessons plans or having a bad class, it feels like I am missing a gimme putt or hitting the ball into the water. I just want to break the club over my knee. But there are these few moments while teaching when everything goes according to plan perfectly. The kids like your lesson, they are participating, they are learning, and things are going great. These moments make teaching worth it. It makes you want to come back, try harder, and do it all over again. Just like golf.

But just like golf, a great shot can be followed by a horrible shot. Last week I had one of my hole-in-one moments with my TB4B class. I was on such a high. My next class was a Small Stars and it went horribly. Like break your club bad. But that’s teaching; you take the good with the bad. And those few good shots/moments, no matter how few and far between, make it all worth it.


About JoelS

Spending a year teaching English and saving the world in China
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