Teaching is a vocation or career? I remember to ask this question to myself many years ago, specifically when I was living in my birth country Nicaragua. Maybe in other context or social realities this never would be a question and less a dilemma, however, the context and circumstances determine us to think and ask us many questions. After some years living in Europe and “struggling” for adapting and adopting some thoughts that would be the answer to my initial question about teaching, nowadays is more clear that some years ago, but with some highlights that I would like to mention through this post.
Recently, I had an anniversary date for two important facts, first, four years ago when I arrived in Spain, I had less than three hundred euros in my pocket (and banking account) and a job offer, which was a really great advantage in comparison with many of my compatriots, but I shared the same nervous and fears as them. Once time that I started to work in my new company, I had to face a lot of challenges which force myself to learn faster. However, I had to be autodidact in many topics and technologies, fortunately, I had the extremely valuable support of my colleague Alberto, he is a skilled developer and a patient person who can spend a significant amount of time teaching you any subject that you needed to learn.
I remembered to ask him if he would be considered to be a teacher because he had many positive aspects proper of a good teacher, his answer was interesting, if my memory doesn´t fail he said: “No, I never considered to be a teacher because I wanted to work in a creative job and the routine is something that kills me”. Maybe If Alberto was born in my country, his answer never touched the creativity and could be focused on salary as the main aspect to consider before becoming a teacher.
During my first years as an IT professional, I realized how much I enjoy to teach about technology, independently of level´s students. Being honest on salaries and labour conditions in Nicaragua almost ten years ago was not so good at all (currently are terrible), obviously, the money was not your main incentive for teaching, however, I felt the necessity of sharing a little of my knowledge with other colleagues, I always believe that thought about if you have advanced one step, it is enough for helping others that did not do that step yet.
After to get some Microsoft Certifications, I took the decision of becoming Microsoft Certified Trainer. Why? Basically, I know how much important is to be updated in my knowledge, and a very effective way of doing it is through teaching other people, every time that you share your knowledge you are reinforcing it, but when you have found the approach for explaining in a simple an survivable way you can start to consider yourself as an expert.
I have to recognize the quality of training material, is obvious how much effort Microsoft put in the development of their courses, I used to prepare the training material for short courses intended to be taught by myself, but the consumption of time and excessive amount of time consumed in this staged gave me a clear objective, I wanted to become a Microsoft Certified Trainer, I knew the quality of learning material and especially the prestigious associated with any MCT professional and it represented one of my main incentives to combine my career as Database Engineer and IT Trainer, this last previously scheduled for having an average of five courses per year.
In this point of my post, I have to say that for me teaching is a vocation, in my life I have had to combine my career in the IT field and teaching. The good part of combining both roles is the opportunity of sharing my experiences and been forced to keep updated. I had the opportunity of teaching to students from different countries, and all of them have one thing in common: the desire for learning.
I could not end this post without to thank God for opening the doors that brought me to Spain, country that opened the doors and friendly people who never doubt in support me and accept me as one of them, I feel very lucky for having the opportunity of being an IT guy and MCT.