Reading the book “To Teach” by William Ayers felt like having a glimpse of what is to come for me in the future as a teacher. The author began writing about the challenges of teaching and found its way back to where it started by coming to a full circle. ”To Teach” is a book that touched a lot of aspects in my short journey as a teacher. There were parts in the book that I had to mark because it just felt like my own sentiments that was written on the pages/ ”Why do you want to teach?”, “What made you choose to become a teacher?”. are questions most people I meet and know ask me all the time. Even those who do not verbally ask me these questions have the same thoughts when they learn that I am a teacher. During my initial year, I wanted to teach because I want to try what it was like to be a teacher. The next year, I wanted to teach because it is where I find my creativity has an output. The following year, I wanted to teach because I find it rewarding and fulfilling. Each year I grow as a teacher, I become more enriched and more mature in the way I see myself.
From the author’s own words, “Teaching is an activity that develops and flowers over time, that there is no way to be an experienced teacher without first being a new teacher.” I realize that teaching is a way of life. It is much like being a parent where no specific techniques or style can be prescribed to become a good one. It is not like a skilled worker who can become an expert at what he does through practice. With teaching, you deal with different individuals and there is always interaction involved. In a way, I think this is why teaching is fulfilling. By establishing relationships with individuals, you give a part of yourself to them as much as they give a part of themselves to you.
Seeing the journey of a teacher who has come full circle, I find myself reflecting whether I would remain to be a teacher through the years. I believe that teaching is a passion. One has to be passionate about it to become a good teacher. But, will my passion for it sustain after 10 years? 20 years? I am inclined to think that if I feel I cannot be a good teacher, I would rather not be a teacher anymore. Do teachers who do not remain to be teachers after some years, really not meant for teaching? The book has opened me to ponder on these thoughts.
Teaching is indeed challenging. It demands a lot from the teachers but it has its rewards. I think the most important thing I have learned from the book is that being a teacher is a journey that is a continuous lifetime affair. Teaching is dynamic, always in motion, always searching to find better ways. The end of the journey as a teacher is also the end of becoming one. There is no race or finish line to rush in this journey. What counts in this journey are the lives I touch and change because of my being a teacher.