I never wanted to be a teacher ever. The very idea of planning lessons, preparing resources, and dealing with unruly students, seemed too much like hard work. Besides, I wasn't the most patient of people, and teachers have to be patient. No, whatever I wanted to do in life, it wasn't teaching.
My first experience of real teaching was when I help to prepare my sister Charlotte for her very first piano exam. Lesson after lesson went by, ending with me in my grumpiest mood, and Charlotte generally in tears. We were both glad once the exam was over and I could stop interfering with her playing.
Then Mum asked me to teach the two younger girls. I had the books and the piano and the students. I was set to go. We sat down for the very first lesson. Sophie chattered the whole way through about things besides piano. She played at top speed, like a 1000km/h hurricane. Then she began to sulk as I grimly pointed out every single mistake she'd made in the whole lesson.
Gemma-Rose wasn't much better. I explained things ten times, and she still couldn't tell me where we were in the piece, or what note was which. She eventually stormed off, leaving me sitting on the piano stool, wondering what to tell Mum.
After only a few weeks, the lessons died away, much to my secret relief. I was left in peace for months, free to enjoy my own lessons, play my own pieces, and do nothing else.
Then, "Mum, I'd really like to learn to play the piano properly. I want to be as good as Charlotte and Immy." Sophie gave Mum her best pleading eyes.
"Well, maybe Imogen will teach you after her exam."
Sophie didn't forget, and as soon as the exams were over, she was ready to be taught. I sat down for the first lesson, filled with dread. This was going to be awful. Sophie would have forgotten everything. She'd get grumpy the first time I tried to correct her. She would...
Half an hour whizzed by without my noticing. Only the appearance of Gemma-Rose stopped the lesson. Wow, that hadn't been so bad after all. I was in a good mood for Gemma-Rose's lesson, and she was in a good mood too. She bounced off after the lesson to tell Mum all the wonderful things she had learnt.
Meanwhile, I was buzzing with ideas for the next lessons. Gemma-Rose wasn't very good at recognising notes. Maybe I could make or find some cards with notes on them. And I could find extra pieces for her to learn. Sophie could learn scales. She was always asking when she could learn them.
A whole new world of teaching was laid out before me. Enthusiastically I made the note flashcards, downloaded the free sheet music, and taught lessons. The girls really enjoyed their piano lessons. After every lesson they ran off to tell Mum all the new things they'd learnt.
Today was their last lesson of the term. Sophie aced her note practice and played all her pieces perfectly. Gemma-Rose enjoyed using the cards too. And today I showed them the pieces they're going to play next term. They can hardly wait for the next term to begin! Not to say that I'm an amazing teacher, but that they're awesome students.
And what about me, the reluctant teacher? Well, I have to admit I'm enjoying the lessons too. Every week gives me new ideas as to how I can help my pupils learn better. I think I could keep on teaching them. And I think they've taught me things too, like how to be patient, and how to give correction without annoying people. I may be the teacher, but they are teaching me too!
Do you teach anyone? Do you like teaching them, or do you find it hard work? Do you have any tips I can use?