As a martial arts instructor for two years now, I have firsthand experience with how difficult a teacher’s job is. Many think it’s fun and easy, but in reality, it is tiring and stressful. Teachers are not seen to be as hard-working as doctors or lawyers, yet their jobs are some of the most influential in our society.
Working with children is tiresome. Teachers want to build a trusting relationship with their students, but some students do not respond well to a teacher’s authority. I have had kids that misbehave and are challenging to teach. As the instructor, I am expected to have to have full control of the class, but with students that do not listen, this is not an easy task. Teachers constantly go through trial and error with disciplinary methods because every student responds differently. For me, giving them consequences—like making the whole class do burpees when one student does not listen—can be effective, but not always.
Along with that, teachers constantly have to come up with methods that will engage their students in learning. Making lesson plans the same everyday bores the students and teachers must provide more interesting ways to learn. It can be hard thinking of many ways, but it is worth it when students are benefiting. Oftentimes in class, students will talk about things that do not relate to martial arts, and I will tell them to stop talking and focus. Sometimes kids really want to tell an exciting moment of their day and all we have to do is listen and talk to them about it. During a meeting with all the instructors, we were told to not always tell the students to stop talking and listen. Instead, we should sometimes engage with the random things they say to us and try to relate it back to what we are doing in class. I once had a student tell me that they were able to do twenty push-ups in P.E., and I told them that was a great accomplishment and that it must have been because we do lots of push ups in class.Then, we continued class. Teachers have to do as much as they can to make their students attentive and ready to learn.
Being a teacher requires many skills, creativity, and time, and society has to acknowledge and appreciate that more. Teachers have more impact than people think; they directly influence future generations. Educators have the ability to shape the way we think at a young age and to set us up for opportunities in life we may have not known about before. As a martial arts instructor, passing down knowledge that helps students be safe and ready to defend themselves is a rewarding feeling. Teachers can be some of the most memorable people in one’s life. Many can tell you that at least one teacher they had has made a positive impact on their lives. Their impact can cause good students to become great adults in society.
This reporter graduated in 2020.
Neha Banga is a senior at Washington High school who grew up in Fremont, California. This is Banga’s first year at the Hatchet. She enjoys writing on the features page and the opinions section. She is a martial artist who has been training for 11 years. She plans to open a martial arts school as a head instructor.