Why Did You Choose to Become a Teacher?

Sharon L. Gilbert (Radford University, USA)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 36
EISBN13: 9781522562146|DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3462-4.ch002
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In this chapter, the author shares her experience teaching Chinese English teachers in China for four weeks. At the beginning of the training program she asked, “Why did you choose to be a teacher?” The question had no purpose other than to start a conversation that might give some insight into the Chinese teachers' motivation to teach so she might find some common ground with them. She was quite surprised by their answers; they uniformly replied that they had not chosen the teaching profession. In fact, several expressed dissatisfaction with the profession and wished they could choose another one. Their responses caused the author to ask herself what it meant to have no voice in choices about profession, future goals, or even having children. What part did cultural norms and social structures have in self-determination? How did cultural norms and social practices impact a sense of purpose? How have our own cultural experiences influenced our perceptions of and reactions to their responses? Her reflections on this experience are the basis for this case study.
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