Student vs Teacher


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Jeremy: So Abidemi, you were a teacher at one time but now you’ve gone back to school. Can you tell me what that’s like?

Abidemi: Well, Jeremy, I think it’s great. I think it’s awesome to be able to go back and play the role of a student after being a teacher for a few years. I’m actually loving it. I really enjoy learning. So that aspect of it is great. I love the fact that I have less responsibility as a student now, whereas before, as a teacher, I had the full pressure of all the students on me. If I had 30 students, that means 30 times as much pressure or so it felt like. But now, I just have to concern myself with only me. So that aspect I love.

Jeremy: Is there anything you miss about being a teacher?

Abidemi: Maybe, yeah. I miss standing in front of a whole bunch of people and getting to teach them something that they don’t know about, share my own opinions and lead discussions. I really miss that. And getting to know each of my students in a different way, I miss that. So yeah, for sure.

Jeremy: Do you think you have a new appreciation of being a student now that you didn’t have before you became a teacher?

Abidemi: Yes, definitely. Definitely. I wished I had been able to go back to be a student a long—way before this time. And I would love for every teacher to go back and become a student because personally, I think I was very strict as a teacher before. Some of students said it but I didn’t realize. I didn’t understand how but maybe I did give away too much homework and expected way too much. So now, if I had to go back, I would, yeah, be more lenient, I think.

Jeremy: So you think becoming a student again has made you, maybe, into a better teacher.

Abidemi: For sure, definitely, definitely. It’s made meappreciate what my students do a lot more.

Jeremy: So do you have any desire to become a teacher again after you finish your degree?

Abidemi: Yes, I do. Yes, I do. I would love to go back into the classroom as a teacher, whether it’d be to teach English or teach something else. I enjoyed that role a lot, so I look forward to it.

Jeremy: Yeah, I can say that I had a very similar experience. I was a teacher after I graduated my undergraduate, and I taught for a year in Korea. And just that experience really made me appreciate how much freedom you have as a student but also how much motivation you have to push yourself forward. How it has to be up to you to do it. You know, you don’t have anybody else breathing down your neck to do stuff.

So I really found my second go as being a student was much, much more successful than my first go because I enjoyed being in the classroom. I didn’t feel I had to be in the classroom. So yeah, I’d like being a teacher made me a much better student. And being a student for many, many years, my graduate degree also made me a much better teacher, I think.

Abidemi: That’s great.

Jeremy: Yeah.

Abidemi: That’s great.