Teaching Journey The more we delve into the deepestparts of ourselves , the more we cultivate an understanding of ourselves , ofwho we are , and where we are heading .Back in 1998 , I graduated from university , and I was certain that teachingwas for me . At that time I was very passionate about discovering the world ofteaching and learning . My main aim as a teacher was to make a positivepermanent impact on each student and that has become a staple part of my teaching career .
Upon graduation from university , I thought that the education phase of my life was done .Likewise when I first reached the first mountain summit I was pleased as punchthat I finally did it , However , the momentary enchantment turned intodisappointment because there were many other mountains . Climbing one wasnot a real feather in my cup .
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By the same token becoming a novice teacher after spending three months preparing for the ‘CAPES’ examination was not as easy as Ithought . The first few days were stressful and frustrating . My first contact with teaching caused anxiety andtrepidation . The excitement of starting teaching was mixed with apprehension. At that time I had little prior teachingexperience , I remember that I taught in a private school for few weeks but I finally run away without even being paid. But asthe old adage says “What doesn’t break you , only makes youstronger.
“Day after day , my own perception of teaching and learning kept changing . Themyth of a “magic formula” thatI thought experienced teachers have wasfinally debunked .I soon changed mytune when I came to realize thatlearning is central and that teaching is subordinate to and in service of the learning goal . I started to distinguishbetween what I think I am teaching and what students are actually learning . From that point my journey into the realms oflifelong learning has kick-started and Isoon swung into action . The first year was a stepping stone in mycareer . After getting tenure , I felt Ibecame an agent of change and I realized that as Ghandi once said” I must be the change I want to see in the world .
‘ From that particularfeeling , my teaching career was on anupward trajectory . I must admit that I was in good and safe hands with a greatand assiduous inspector who instilled in me love of the profession. With an inspector of high caliber , teaching became a passion , He kept reiterating ” do not let mediocrity sneak into your work, be professional ” . With this in mind , I started finding my own path through a process of trial and error , and Igained valuable skills and knowledge but they were not enough . Convinced that “The longer I live, the more Iread, the more patiently I think, and the more anxiously I inquire, the less Iseem to know.
” As ? John Adams wrote in TheLetters of John and Abigail Adams , I went forward and I found that thereare always new things to learn . The greatest lesson that Ihave learned is that I still have a lot to learn . Learning is a never endingprocess .The more I know about the fieldof education , the deeper I can plunge into it .
Replenishing my library of knowledge with new tools and skillshelped me make connections that I would never have otherwise perceived . Themore I learn , the more I realize I am thirsty for knowledge . This thirst forknowledge became a staple in my professional life . Throughout my career , myjourney as a learner has taken several different paths, and I have worn many hats in the process . Thefirst three years were the foundationstone that led to more upcoming developments .
The second milestonein my teaching career was when I went abroad to teach in Sultanate of Oman .That experience paid off over the longrun .For about three years , I immersed myself in different cultures , and Ideveloped a greater tolerance ofcontrary points of view , customs and ways of life . I grasped most of theopportunities there to attend seminars and training sessions held by TheBritish Council Sultanate of Oman . Upon my return to Tunisia, I spent one yearin the school where I started teaching , then my inspector called me asking for myconsent to teach at “Lycee Pilote Le Kef ” , I answered with a resounding yes .When I started my learning journey again my heart beamed with pleasure because I found myself working with motivated,and energetic students . By the same token , my students’ zest for learning gave me a newlease of life . Their positive attitude towards the English language which coupledwith their readiness to learn was contagious .
I wholeheartedly threw myself into investing in their potential . I madeuse of a wide range of strategies , techniques and equipment . I encouraged my students to write diaries ,keep portfolios , write poems andstories . I brought multimedia in my class including songs , videos and the like . I incorporated theatre , humour, tongue twisters and proverbs in myclasses. Nonetheless , I must admit that at times things felt messy .Convinced that thebiggest enemy of success is an attitude of “that’s good enough ” , I encouragedmy students to dream big , take risks , and reach further than they thought theycould .The same motto applied to me , I operated at an exponentially higherlevel to do better and become successful in my endeavours .
I was convincedthat the right mindset , attitude and skill will eventually pay off . Myconfidence in myself grew and I started doubling my effort and aiminghigher . In hisbook The Only Difference Between Success and Failure (2011), Grant Cardone provides an awesome blueprint for how one can rise above the status quo to take massiveaction instead of behaving in an ordinary way , and settling for averageresults .When we dream and think small , we get unsatisfactory results and wefell short of our expectations and our potential . This feeling of restlessnesspreyed on my mind and I eventually found myself wearing several other hats suchas an ICT trainer , international coordinator and ambassador , and last but notleast a teacher trainer .In 2010 , myinspector suggested that I take charge of workshops and training sessions on language laboratories . I unhesitatinglyagreed to and riseto the challenge .As the Latin proverb says “by learning you will teach , and by teaching you willlearn “, I became increasingly interested in technology and ways to use it inlanguage learning .
Basically , This experience has given me a newframework to start many changes in myclass , and I felt more confident about integrating ICT in my classroom . I also tried to harness the power oftechnology to improve my students’ learning . I made use of different programssuch as Hotpotatoes , JCick , movie maker , didapages ,and photo story . Additionally , technology helped me and my students connectwith educators and students from other parts of the world via videoconferencing , and that literally made me learn new things and embrace morechallenges . In 2011, I became an ambassador and international coordinator in the schoolsonline connecting classroom project , which is a global education programme managed by British Council in partnership with theministry of education .
It offers a free and safe learning environment bydeveloping networking , and sharing ideas and projects with thousands ofteachers across the globe in the hope of improving classroom practices , andhelping students develop the knowledge , skills and values to live and workharmoniously with others .By the end of this project , I prepared a 130 -page portfolioencompassing most of the joint projects and the visits in Tunisia and inEngland , and I applied for theAccreditation level of the InternationalSchool Award ( ISA ) . I was overjoyed when I won The ISA award and I wasoffered an 8 day- visit to 3 schools in Haringey , London . In 2013, myinspector suggested that I take charge of teacher training in return for a reducedtimetable . I did not sit on the fence any longer, and I decided to go for it .
Among many otherworkshops and training sessions that I prepared jointly with my inspector , Irecorded a lesson with year 4 secondary education , and we sent a copy to Mr. Rashid Najar , andalso another copy to the ministry ofeducation . Another milestone in my teaching career was in 2014 , whenI sat the TOEFL test at Amideast , and I was selected along with 11 otherteachers to attend a 120- hour intensive course provided by SIT graduate Institute In Washington D.
C.By the end of the 40- day course I prepared a portfolio documentingall my work during that course . I wasawarded a Professional Certificate Of English Language Teaching ( PCELT ) fromSIT Graduate Institute . It is crystal clear that success breeds success . In a fixed mindset, you come to believe that your skills,traits, and talents are fixed.
What you know is unchanging, and therefore, youcannot possibly learn anything new, andwhen you surround yourself with negative people you will end up believing that you are good for nothing . Interestingly enough , in a growth mindset youbelieve that challenges and learning are opportunities, and that failure is an opportunity for growth. Ratherthan seeking out evidence that proves we are not smart, when we are with a growth mindset we focus more on process and progress, searchingout opportunities to stretch our existing abilities.It is gratifying that I have worked with positive and successful people including my inspector to whom I owe a great deal . Throughout mycareer , I tried to avoid negativepeople because I found that they can pull you into their chaos , disruptingyour focus and sidelining your goals . Overthe course of our careers we may at times encounter difficult moments and thisis exactly what happened to me by the end of 2014.
At that time I felt that Istagnated and it dawned on me that I was stuck in a career rut . Truthfully , Ifelt restless and unmotivated . From the outside , it might have looked that Iwas fine , however, inside , I felt incredibly frustrated , confused andaimless , I even experienced teacher burnout because I have given my all , andI felt powerless because my sphere of influence was limited to my classroom . Inspectionexamination picked my interest , and my inspector again was encouraging and supportiveas usual , and he managed to put me back on track .He suggested that I sit the inspectionexamination, and I finally did it afterI failed the first one . And here I am starting afresh trying to break the mould to effect change inthe actions , beliefs and choices of teachers and by extension their students .
I am not in this mission for the sake ofself aggrandizement , I am here to be an agent of change , and to start thechange that I want to see in every classroom . I