During the summer holidays, we visited a theme park. There were lots of fun rides. Children-friendly rides that young ones ride on their own, family rides where the whole family enjoy together and also some thriller rides for those wanting some excitement.
After a few rounds of watching my boys ride their kiddie rides, and accompanying them on the usual ferris wheel and merry-go-round, one ride kept catching my eye – the music express. This ride resembles a caterpillar with cars connected in the middle that spin around a track with slopes and increasing speed.
I have never been on this ride before. It was new to me. Despite having watched it a few times and supposedly knowing what to expect, the thought of not really knowing how it feels as a passenger in the ride rather than just a viewer by the sidelines drew me to it yet felt daunting. It was new and scary at the same time.
The new job
This new year, I enter a new phase in life. After completing my Graduate Diploma in Teaching(Primary) last year, I will now embark on my journey as a primary school teacher.
As exciting as it is to be teaching again after a five year break as a stay-at-home mum, going back to work this time around as a generalist teaching all subjects to young children instead of just teaching English to older students… is rather new for me.
With two boys under six, I have been attracted to young children and have had some experience being a parent helper at my older boy’s kindergarten and primary school. Looking at his teachers and interacting with his friends made me interested in teaching young children and I decided to pursue this career.
Just helping as a parent and being a primary school teacher though is different, just like how merely watching the music express ride and riding it feels different. Now that I have been officially employed as a primary school teacher, it feels surreal - the scary new.
Although I have been a teacher before and have studied a year with two teaching experiences, I still feel scared. It feels like no matter how much I have learnt or despite my experience, there is always some things that will be new. The thing about new that makes it scary is the unknown.
The unknown always exist regardless of how much experience we have or how prepared we are. Unknown colleagues, unknown students, unknown parents, unknown plans... we don’t know what to say, what to express, what interests and what doesn’t… the list is unending.
The unknown keeps us awake at night thinking of the possibilities. Unknown possibilities. The unknown makes us ponder how it would be and how it could be.
While the unknown is new and scary, the known is old and comforting. Every known however comes to being starting with an unknown. So for anything to be known, we have to first embrace the unknown. We have to first experience the scary new.
Like how the ferris wheel and merry-go-round becomes common to us, we have to first ride the music express to familiarize ourselves with it. The only way for the music express to change from being new and scary to old and comforting is to change it from the unknown to the known – to ride it!
Often, when faced with the scary new music express ride, we freeze by the side and watch it over and over hoping to overcome it. However, all we needed to do was to muster our courage and get into the line and ride it.
Sometimes in life, we tend to agonise about an issue without doing anything about it. Being a primary school teacher was my new scary. However, I decided to jumped into the line and ride it. I studied and got myself employed then started teaching.
I’m not saying just doing it would immediately make everything fine. What I am suggesting is that doing something about it turns the unknown into a known; thus making it less scary.
Esther Koh is a primary school teacher living in Wellington with her husband and two sons. She loves people and has a passion for helping others find their purpose for living.
Esther Koh’s previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/esther-koh.html