The search for the English teaching meaning: Why do I do what I do?

Por Calebe Veiga Dias Rodrigues

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The action of teaching or learning how to do something is present in society since humans are humans. In ancient civilizations, humans had to teach others how to do certain tasks in order to survive. Consequently, there is historical evidence that affirms that primitive men taught their children how to hunt, plant, or make a fire to survive the winter or to cook their food. In addition, generally, the same occurs in the animal kingdom. Therefore, the maternal and paternal figure, human or animal, are the first teacher a living being can have. Similarly, when colonizers arrived in America, one of the first things to be done was to teach the colonized people their language, culture, and above all, their religion. 

Apart from these “instincts” to learn or teach, which are innate in human beings, the teacher, as a professional figure, is a person who manages skills to be able to relate theory and practice and use different resources to spread the knowledge and experiences. Besides all the work that teachers can do, encompassing their skills and roles, in the “backstage” there is the construction of the meaning in teaching. Searching for the meaning is about searching for the answer to the question: why do I do what I do?

In terms of teaching a language, such as English, the process of teaching involves much more than just teaching structures, vocabulary, grammar, and verb tenses. The path to constructing the meaning of teaching goes much further than exploring the students’ listening, speaking, writing, and reading abilities. Subsequently, the teachers who want to follow this “search for the meaning” path have to be aware that their mind, body, intellect will be involved. Also, their capacity to think and reflect about their own practice and purpose will be challenged on different levels. 

To conclude, the meaning of teaching English has a close relationship with using the language in order to give the students opportunities to open their hearts and eyes to see not only other cultures, but also other points of view in a lot of subjects, such as love, death, sadness, happiness, and hope. Finally, the meaning of teaching is not something focused on the teachers themselves or on what they can receive or gain by doing what they do. Instead, it is focused on what teachers can do to use their knowledge and gift to touch and inspire people to go on a search for their own purpose in life. 

My name is Calebe Rodrigues, I’m a student of Additional Languages at Unipampa – Campus Bagé. I am strongly passionate about and influenced by music, literature, and pop cultures in general, such as movies and series. My e-mail address is caleberodrigues.aluno@unipampa.edu.br

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