by Manisha Manchanda –
“We rise by lifting others.”
A wonderful quote written by Robert Ingersoll. Five words composed of simplicity — a notion a lot of us comprehend but simultaneously one of the most misunderstood concepts in today’s society.
Teaching is a job of great delicacy. It is very important to build a solid foundation for children not only in phonics, maths, the arts, computer skills, literature, etc., but more importantly in morals, in humanity, in kindness and empathy — the building blocks you want to have engraved in the child’s daily religion.
The first five years of a child’s development are exceptionally important — these are the years in which you shape the happiness, confidence, growth, and development of the brain. Children are to be treated with love, care, understanding, and fragility, and it is very important for me to create strong, well-nourished roots for each child I have the privilege of interacting with.
Personally, I think a life fulfilled is a life in which I get the chance to lift people up. I want to be able to make an impact in the way someone feels and I want to be able to genuinely be there for children. My dream is to be able to give back in love, kindness, and simple gestures. This is the reason I chose to work with children.
My uncomplicated reason for having so much passion towards the education field is because teaching gives me the opportunity to be a part of something bigger than myself. To me, teaching is a very rewarding career. My goal in life is not to live a melancholy routine. I want passion, I want inner drive and I want satisfaction. Teaching gives this to me. Without fail, I am able to start my day at 5:00 AM every morning without feeling exhausted and trust me, I am not a morning person. Teaching perks me up and makes me feel alive.
So what pushed me to become a teacher? A few teachers, back when I was a student, were the stimulation to drive me to certainty in my career choice. There were three teachers who exceptionally stood out.
The first believed in me with confidence, sincere praise and personalized his teaching strategy so I could reach out to it with full potential.
The second teacher made learning full of colors and fun and implemented things like ‘Quote of the day’ and ‘Compliment Box’ to promote acts of kindness and perception with words, I was taught to read between the lines and think a little deeper.
The third teacher was certain I was going to fail and struggle throughout my time at school because I was not able to catch up with the approach and structure in which the material was delivered.
I don’t necessarily remember the words spoken to me but I do quite vividly remember the way I felt with each of these three teachers (two of them being during primary school).
So, why do I want to keep teaching? I could very well give you the cliché answer: because I am making a difference, and sure, I am. But honestly, I think being around kids gives you the purest insight to life. Children have simplicity, innocence, and gentleness that most of us are unable to find after being influenced by both the world and society year after year. Children have the ability to say sorry without ego when something is done wrong and are able to praise people unconditionally and willingly when someone is doing something well, without for a second minimizing their own self-worth. So I wonder, are we the ones making a difference? Or are they? We need to stop and take a look at these young souls and make them our role models.
[Read More: ‘A Pure Medley’: A Poem for the Children of Immigrants]
Every day, teaching reminds me to stay humble, compassionate and patient, it reminds me of the different personalities in the world and it reminds me that even at the age of five everyone has a story that you know nothing about, everyone is dealing with feelings you have never felt before. So in any single moment, you really do have the ability to stop and be there, show up and give something your all.
Whatever it is, find your passion and give it your all. Be humble enough to thank it for letting you make a difference but more importantly seeing the difference it has made in your life. This new year, I challenge you to slow down from your busy routine, appreciate and find beauty in the little things.
Manisha Manchanda was born in Bangkok, Thailand and pursued a Bachelor’s Degree at Michigan State University in Special Education. Her passion is working with children and providing education, love, support and fairness to young minds. During her first year of working she managed to become certified in TEFL (Teach English as a foreign language) and is now working with the University of Nottingham towards gaining the Postgraduate Certificate in Education. Her job as an instructor is to coach her students the way they learn best. She finds joy in experimenting with different approaches of teaching and inspiring her students to reach his or her full potential.