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PLS Teacher Blog Number 5 – Zainab

Teaching Science, to me, is not less revered than a religious rite.  My love of Physics is as great as Professor Walter Lewin’s, who authored the book, ‘For the love of Physics’. But I wish, the passion for a profession and the love of a subject were good enough to become that outstanding teacher who is admired and venerated by all. I wish, a thorough knowledge of the subject was good enough to inspire the students. I wish, the reading of the teaching strategies was good enough to ‘teach like a champion’. Alas! It is not- although, all of these traits are important to achieve that brilliant teacher status.

So then, what does it take to become that outstanding teacher? Well, we are training to learn that- training to learn and to apply all those vital traits which eventually can carve you into the teacher you wish you had when you were a student. With time and resilience, with keeping the passion burning in our chests, we will be there one day hopefully. But then I wish it was as straightforward and as glorious as it sounds!

Keeping the teaching passion alive while marking 50 plus baseline tests is neither straightforward, nor glorious. It is exhausting! Writing, uploading and evaluating lesson plans every week feels endless. Moreover, the lesson plans which are full of robust activities and innovative ideas on the paper, when executed in the class room, seldom turn out to be that thriving! Many a time, my situation reminds me of Dr Seuss’s ‘Oh, the places you’ll go!’

I start my day while humming, “Congratulations! Today is your day…. You have brains in your head, you have feet in your shoes” to myself. Then, after a mediocre lesson, I find telling myself, “I am sorry to say so- But, sadly, it’s true-The Bang-ups and Hang-ups-can happen to you”.

On rare occasions, I manage to achieve the standard, I have set to myself for a brilliant lesson. At such occasion, I am telling myself, “Kid, you’ll move mountains!” The next day or the next lesson brings a new set of challenges; a new set of mountains- time management, behaviour management, differentiation, assessment for learning, inspiring the students, impressing the observers!

Hence, learning to teach, so far, has been a roller coaster ride for me. The one thing I am sure about is that, my mountain is waiting and I am on my way