I was discussing something with a former student who has taught for a couple of years, and I took the opportunity to ask her whether she was still enjoying her work. I thought that, like many stressed-out teachers, she would grumble a little. But to my surprise, she said she was enjoying her teaching. I grabbed the opportunity to probe further. Why is it possible for an English teacher to enjoy her work today? She explains:
“I’m still enjoying my work~ the workload is heavy, but my colleagues are all very professional and we share and laugh a lot. I always learn a lot from my colleagues and students. That’s why I’m still enjoying teaching.
It’s really a blessing to be surrounded by my colleagues. As a teacher, I love to teach, and our department encourages us to discuss and bring in new teaching methods. Our goal is to find teaching methods that facilitate students’ learning. I always think that time is the best thing for creativity and learning. We need to give teachers and students time to enjoy and understand what we are doing …”
This is good food for thought for the rest of us. How can we build a work environment and culture that will enable teachers to enjoy their work? To me, this is crucial, because if teachers enjoy their work, they will throw all their best into their work, and the students will benefit. And then, why shouldn’t we teachers enjoy our work? Life is short. Why do we have to suffer simply because we are paid to teach?