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Tutor Istvan Zoltan Zardai 's Column

Teaching is rewarding

Aug 20, 2020

The joys of teaching are many.

One meets a wide variety of people. Among them some unforgettable characters.

Some people stand out due to their kindness, some due to their humour, and some due to their fascinating unique personalities.

There are of course very smart, and a bit slower students too. As a teacher, one wants all of them to succeed and do well.

Before classes, when my students are working through a hard topic in grammar for example, I often feel nervous and excited. I think of my students working and trying to develop a skill they didn’t have before. In those moments I often think that I should work really hard with them in the next session, dig in our heels and try to get through the toughest topics. But after a lot of work everyone gets tired. At those moments, it is time for people to relax and take it easy. Time for a fun lesson: chatting about family, watching and discussing a travel video, discussing interesting news, or telling some stories about places we’ve visited, interesting cultural habits.

 

The best part of teaching is when one hears from students that they’re doing well.

Recently one of my students wanted to go abroad to study. Because of the Corona epidemic the students wasn’t sure whether they could go abroad.

I got a call from them on Saturday that they made it! I was really happy and felt cheerful. The student practiced hard and prepared for the trip. It was a warm, glowing feeling to know that they got to the place where they wanted to be.

 

Similarly, last year I was teaching a student Philosophy. She was a university student at an American university and sometimes she wasn’t sure whether she understood things correctly in her lesson. She did very well in my lessons, and we had a good rhythm of working together. My student achieved a glaring A in her course, and all her friends also started taking classes with me. My student moved on to study at another course, where there was no philosophy, so I haven’t talked with her for a long time.

However, recently I’ve received an email which was very touching. She started to study law. She wrote that she enjoyed it very much and her coursework was going well. It reminded her of philosophy: law also requires careful analysis, logical thinking, and good analytic abilities. She felt that she could do well in legal reasoning because she practiced hard in the philosophy classes, and she said thank you for my earlier help.

For such moments, it is really worth being a teacher.

 

(The photo was taken of me five years ago, in 2015. I was giving a lesson at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. It was about conformism and the talk was followed by a good discussion.)

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