Was I a better teacher in 2005 than now?

A funny thing happened to me as I was revisiting my time teachng the shipbuilders. In addition to feeling happy, proud, and nostalgic I also felt a bit disappointed.  The main reason for my disappointment was because I don’t think that I will be able to capture the same magic that I did then and there.

At that time in 2005 I was relatively fresh off my CELTA and had just about 4 year’s teaching experience.  I was full of energy and passion. Perhaps even more importantly, I was full of conviction in my beliefs.

Now, while I am sure I am much better at articulating and examing my beliefs, I am much less convinced that they are “right.”

I don’t want to say that I was a better or more effective teacher 7 years ago. However, I cannot shake the feeling that this confidence in myself, my teaching, and my beliefs were all very helpful things with the shipbuilders back in 2005.

I am willing to admit that my memory could be playing tricks on me and that it was not nearly as successful of an experience as I want to recall. I am happy to admit that my students could possibly have made even more progress with a modified/modern version of me. I am happy to say that the the knowledge, skills, attitude and awareness that I have accumulated in the past 7 years could have been of some benefit to me in that and other teaching situations.

Yet, I am still somehow pretty convinced that Mike circa 2005 was a better match and thus a “better teacher” for that particular group of learners.

I wonder if anyone out there has a similar experience or similar thoughts and feelings.


  1. Kevin Stein

    Wow! You know I always think of growing as a teacher means I will be better at handling any given situation. But maybe not. That energy of youth. The drive to succeed. The sureness that comes from knowing less. I bet there were classes that fit my younger self better than the I that is teaching now. Great read. Thanks.

    • mikecorea

      Thanks for the comments Kevin! As I read them I suddenly wondered…Might we say the same thing about now later on? I hope that the teachers and people we are now will continue to grow and be better at all situations and contexts.

      • Josette

        Well said! Here’s to hoping we are always willing to change, while also able to look back for a little inspiration and insight. Great post Mike!

  2. Pingback: Re-re-revisiting 2005 « ELT Rants, Reviews, and Reflections
  3. Christina Rebuffet-Broadus

    Good question, but I think that feeling comes from knowing so much more now about teaching theory, more possibilities to choose from, and maybe a greater desire to get it perfect. A bit like the saying “the more I learn, the more I realize I don’t know.” I’d say a healthy dose of self-questioning is a good thing. Let it be a motor to growth!

  4. mikecorea

    Good point Christina! These days I am feeling very aware of what I don’t know! I will take it as a good sign. 🙂
    Thanks for the comments and I am looking forward to reading your blog and sharing ideas.


  5. Pingback: My students were really nice this term | ELT Rants, Reviews, and Reflections

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