I am an ordinary student who returned to KNUE this semester after finishing my military service. Until I came back to the KNUE, I had lived without any thoughts about my future. Then one day in early September I attended an orientation of a lecture called Teacher’s Practical Work. The professor gave her impassioned lecture, and I discussed the topics based on the contents of the lecture with the people sitting around me. The topics were as follows: How can we become the best teachers? and What kinds of virtues should we have as pre-service teachers? The time for discussion gave me a feeling as if I were on pins and needles.
Looking back on that time, I was not interested in the teaching profession, and neither did I want to take an interest in it. After the lecture finished, I asked myself, “Why I have been attending KNUE for almost two years?” Maybe I am an extraordinary student, to be more exact, given that I did not have serious deliberation about the teaching profession. After I completed my first semester as a sophomore and then finished my military service I was still without any worries about my future, then the second semester began. Most subjects I had registered included my major, teaching courses were closer to teaching than before, which created a kind of chaos for me.
Some fellow students who are close to me in KNUE are going other ways. After having enough consideration about their careers, they are preparing for their future; for example, one of my colleagues plans to submit an application for a leave of absence in order to study for the exam for fire officer and another colleague is searching for information about the National Intelligence Service (NIS) to become an NIS officer. When I heard that they had decided paths such as that, I gave a very big hand to them, because unlike me who is still in chaos, they definitely decided their ways.
KNUE is the most prestigious national institution for teacher training and educational research. Therefore, as you already know, it is difficult to find another career except for within the teaching profession once you entered KNUE. There are not sufficient opportunities to have a variety of experiences in contrast to other universities, and also the atmosphere in KNUE gets the students to only think about becoming a teacher. Under these circumstances, if you do not have a firm belief about the teaching profession through various experiences and contemplation, you would be skeptical about teaching too; thereby, the time for preparing for another future is lacking. Maybe it is a double-edged sword. Especially, the students who are in the lower grades, such as freshman and sophomore, are not likely to have a firm faith about the teaching profession due to lack of experience, so they need to be thoughtful.
I am agonizing over my future, even at this very moment where I am typing this column at dawn. My sufficient and deep contemplation will tell me whether the teaching profession is my vocation or not in the future. Also, the process will pave the way for my future, as it will be decided if I will be a teacher or have another job. I recommend you to ask yourself again: “Do I want to become a teacher? If so, why?” Escaping from this busy semester where the assignments given by professors are exploding in your brain and further confuses you, think about the teaching profession unceasingly, and that will be a good stepping stone for your glittering teaching career.
황동욱 기자 firstname.lastname@example.org