The problem with teaching

by Cesco Emmanuel

I like teaching, I really do.

Somedays I get such a joy from seeing my students nail a piece of music, I feel like I’m doing something really worthwhile with my life. That I’m adding something of value to the world.

Other days, I feel as if I am wasting my time. That I should throw in the towel and get a day job. Perhaps all teachers feel this way?

Truth be told, my average day goes like this – wake up early, practice classical guitar for two hours, then practice electric guitar for an hour, then teach in the afternoon for a few hours.

Seems like a fairly organized schedule, and I’m happy with my life for the most part.

The doubt seeps in when I have delinquent students, or even worse, bad-paying parents who send their kids for class but constantly forget to send their class fees. I don’t get it, you can’t go to the grocery and forget to pay, or go to the doctor, dentist, mechanic and forget your cheque-book. So why send your kids for lessons with their guitar but without fees?

And then there’s the students who never call to cancel to class, and even worse there’s students who give no reason for not returning to class, so I hold their spot open until I call soon after they’ve not shown up to learn that they’re not coming back. Thanks for the call. It’s only called decency and consideration.

It’s disrespectful to me, it is, no matter how you define it, by both the parents and their kids.

And the only thing that keeps me going, is the handful of students who do well, who progress in their learning of the guitar. And I can see the motivation on their faces.

That, keeps me going.

It literally is just a handful that keeps me passionate about teaching.

Because truly, somedays I just want to quit and tell all the rude, inconsiderate students (and parents) to find some other jackass fool to teach them.