Why did you become a Teacher?

Most children have dreams of what to become when they grow up. I was no different. Wanting to become some kind of hero when I grow up, my ideals were to become a firefighter, a doctor or maybe even a lawyer. However, I cannot stand the sight of blood and soon realised this obstacle drastically narrows down the possibilities.  

In grade 11, our English Teacher told us one day that he wanted “to be the teacher he never had.” There and then, I decided to become a fusion of all the teaching heroes whom I was fortunate enough to be taught by.

Suddenly everything started to make sense. After all, one of my favourite study methods was to present Geography lessons to my gold fish. Not that they ever paid much attention, but that did not put me off.

Looking back at the past 27 years, it has been a humbling yet rewarding journey so far. Especially when former learners pop in at school to greet their teachers with an update on where they have been and what they have achieved in the meantime.

All the hours spent on preparation, marking books and coaching sports become worthwhile when you see young people reaching their childhood dreams and becoming confident, motivated young adults who take responsibility for their own choices and actions. Especially the ones who gave you a hard time, challenging authority and breaking rules throughout their school career. When they finally find their passion in life and ignite their ambition, the sky is the limit!

Who knows where little Johnny will end up? One day you might recognise him in the eyes of the anaesthetist putting you to sleep before an operation, or the bank manager deciding whether or not your bond should be approved. Or, hopefully not, the beggar at the robot. So never, give up and keep on shaping and encouraging them to reach for the stars!   

Written by Retief Loubser

become a teacher