Teaching III- New Students

There’s a strange thing about every new wave of students. Every year you say good bye to old students, who you know and who are special and to whom you gave a piece of yourself and they gave a piece of themselves to you.

Then, you see the new and unfamiliar faces. They seem so foreign and you think, how will I ever connect and feel that these kids are special? And yet, within a couple of days you do. They become special because you realize that they are in your class because they know almost nothing about the things you are about to teach them. They are helpless in this entire field and they are there for one reason or another but they need this information, to pass this class or to use it for the rest of their life.

Once you realize that and they realize it, there begins to be a process of teaching and learning. It is a symbiotic process because there is no one lesson plan for all and there is no easy way to learn difficult things. Each student will at some point struggle with some portion of what you teach, and you will have to realize it and find an approach to helping them understand the concept so they can move forward. This moment is a special bond that forms between the student and the teacher.

Both might forget that moment, but both will remember eachother from then on and create an emotional bond. Over the year, they will become more interested in you as a person and you will learn more and more about each one. You will learn their likes and dislikes, and their quirks. Thus, come end of the year, you will feel that they are unique, and you will have that pain in your heart, seeing them go and wonder: will I connect with the next group the way I connected with this one? And of course you will, because you are the teacher, and they are the students and you have the knowledge and the means for them to attain it and they do not have it. And you know that the only way to pass it on, is learn who they are, and that makes them unique and special and that is why you teach.

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