Teaching English in a school which regulations include an “English Only Policy” is very much leaned towards the side of the communications teacher. It actually gives the English subject such enormity beyond the usual that the students find it gravely ironic if you, as the English teacher, cannot speak the language. Well, you cannot teach, what you do not have. Of course, I am not the first to say that, but does it matter?
This huge precedence embedded towards the subject requires an equally gargantuan responsibility for the English teacher. In toto, so much is expected of you. Worse, you cannot avoid being stereotyped.
Because you are an English teacher, people thought you are:
· A WALKING DICTIONARY
People assume you know all the words there is in the English language. Is that even possible? Not even the native speakers can do that. I mean, what’s the point of memorizing if you don’t know how to use them?
This is actually the primary reason why I require my class to have a dictionary, as it comes handy when difficulties for meaning arise. I require them to take the initiative when they are met with such doubts. Indirectly, vis-à-vis a reading task, I am creating curiosity about words and their meanings, thus developing word consciousness.
If there is one thing I have learned by heart in my graduate studies, it would be the wise words of my outspoken and exhilarating professor known by the name Dr. Merlea Cabalquinto. “Don’t be a telling teacher!” If I keep providing answers, I am not making my students learn because true learning comes when I allow my students time to think, search, discover, synthesize; thus forming new ideas.
· A WORD GAME KNOW-IT-ALL
Word games are fun and entertaining. Uhmmmm… Fun and entertaining varies from person to person, my friend. What may be fun to me isn’t fun to you. A scrabble game may be entertaining to you but that is plain and boring for me. However, word games benefit the brain because the task forces the former to exercise, work and be active as it deals with language and word finding. It’s just that not all enjoy the same outlet even the English teachers.
Somehow it is understandable why people would make such assumption; English teachers are linguistically endowed but not all are logically inclined. Some word games like scrabble require strategy, thus a strong call for logic. Hence, some word games might not work on them. Moreover, teachers give varied word games to grind the students’ minds which are beneficial in problem-solution situations the real world might come to present them.
· A READER OF NOVELS
This is much agreeable as English teachers have this irresistible appetite for fiction. This is one reason why these teachers are deemed creative; they mostly have gotten it from reading fiction. Oops, tread carefully! Novels are not the only works of fiction. Therefore, it is wrong to conclude that English teachers read novels a lot.
Let us not forget that teachers are learners as well and they learn based on their intelligence. If you are spatial like me, you would love books with bigger fonts and comely graphics and photos; Novels are not formatted as such. Furthermore, because I am spatial, I watch tons of TV Series; aren’t they novels as well, just in motion picture? Am I confusing you now?
It is healthy to make assumptions as long as it goes hand in hand with verification. It is still wise to get to know the person better than judge them according to stereotypes. It is the twenty-first century; verification already comes handy with the internet. That if you value the consequences of your actions. That if you are open-minded.
As an English teacher, it is important that you be true to yourself. Do not try reshaping your persona so that it fits the stereotype. Be yourself, your true self.
Bhagat, N. (13 November 2018). 5 advantages of playing English word games. Retrieved from https://bit.ly/2tSArJY
Devi, G. (2019). How do word games benefit the brain? Sharecare, Inc. Retrieved from https://bit.ly/36addNq
How to develop word consciousness. (2013-2019). Retrieved from https://bit.ly/397XvEJ
Seiter, C. (2019). The surprising power of reading fiction: 9 ways it make us happier and more creative. Buffer, Inc. Retrieved from https://bit.ly/2QrajO2