This post is also available in: Spanish
“Would you do your work if you didn´t get paid?” A student asked me. “Yes” I answered quickly and without hesitation.
Yes, I would keep on teaching, it is my vocation. It is the energy that drives me forward every day and makes me happy. However, it was not the calling I felt in my childhood; all I knew was that I enjoyed studying which happens to be related to teaching. “To teach is to learn twice”, said Joseph Joubert. In my opinion, this profession has different aspects to be considered, first the topic to be taught; after that, the methodology used to teach; and last but not least, the atmosphere or personal relationship developed with students along the course. And it is the last one that is the most important to me.
Each course is different, but without any doubt the one that ended this week has been one of the most special ones. The very first day students posed a question that had nothing to do with the subject taught but with life itself; those kinds of questions we share as human beings. It was only the start of a series of classes where deep questions were dropped in alongside the material that had to be learnt.
I don´t know what opinion my students have about me; anyway, I can´t separate my personality from the exercise of my profession. So, my classes have a personal stamp, with all its consequences.
The question raised at the beginning of the last class of this course reminded me the beautiful story told by Wayne Dyer in one of his speeches (you can read or listen to it by clicking the link , the story of Teddy Stoddard). In the same way as the teacher in the story, my students helped me to start educating rather than teaching people. So, I am grateful to all my students attending my classes, and in particular to the group of students that has just ended the term just last week.
Would you do your work if you didn´t get paid? Is your job your calling?