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Views #1329 | Intermediate (B2)

Student vs Teacher

Abidemi was a teacher and now is a student. She talks about the transition.

Jeremy: So Abidemi, you were a teacher at one time but now you’ve gone back to school. Can you tell me what that’s like?

Abidemi: Well, Jeremy, I think it’s great. I think it’s awesome to be able to go back and play the role of a student after being a teacher for a few years. I’m actually loving it. I really enjoy learning. So that aspect of it is great. I love the fact that I have less responsibility as a student now, whereas before, as a teacher, I had the full pressure of all the students on me. If I had 30 students, that means 30 times as much pressure or so it felt like. But now, I just have to concern myself with only me. So that aspect I love.

Jeremy: Is there anything you miss about being a teacher?

Abidemi: Maybe, yeah. I miss standing in front of a whole bunch of people and getting to teach them something that they don’t know about, share my own opinions and lead discussions. I really miss that. And getting to know each of my students in a different way, I miss that. So yeah, for sure.

Jeremy: Do you think you have a new appreciation of being a student now that you didn’t have before you became a teacher?

Abidemi: Yes, definitely. Definitely. I wished I had been able to go back to be a student a long—way before this time. And I would love for every teacher to go back and become a student because personally, I think I was very strict as a teacher before. Some of students said it but I didn’t realize. I didn’t understand how but maybe I did give away too much homework and expected way too much. So now, if I had to go back, I would, yeah, be more lenient, I think.

Jeremy: So you think becoming a student again has made you, maybe, into a better teacher.

Abidemi: For sure, definitely, definitely. It’s made me appreciate what my students do a lot more.

Jeremy: So do you have any desire to become a teacher again after you finish your degree?

Abidemi: Yes, I do. Yes, I do. I would love to go back into the classroom as a teacher, whether it’d be to teach English or teach something else. I enjoyed that role a lot, so I look forward to it.

Jeremy: Yeah, I can say that I had a very similar experience. I was a teacher after I graduated my undergraduate, and I taught for a year in Korea. And just that experience really made me appreciate how much freedom you have as a student but also how much motivation you have to push yourself forward. How it has to be up to you to do it. You know, you don’t have anybody else breathing down your neck to do stuff.

So I really found my second go as being a student was much, much more successful than my first go because I enjoyed being in the classroom. I didn’t feel I had to be in the classroom. So yeah, I’d like being a teacher made me a much better student. And being a student for many, many years, my graduate degree also made me a much better teacher, I think.

Abidemi: That’s great.

Jeremy: Yeah.

Abidemi: That’s great.

End of Transcript

Answer these questions about the interview.
Audio Lessons about Phrases and Vocabulary



I had the full pressure of all the students on me.

Pressure is a feeling of great responsibility. Notice the following:

  1. He had pressure to succeed.
  2. She did not like to work under pressure.



I miss standing in front of a whole bunch of people

When you miss something, you feel a little sad something is no longer in your life. Notice the following:

  1. I miss seeing my friends every day.
  2. She misses her mother's cooking.

go back


I would love to go back and become a student.

To go back means to return to a something. Notice the following:

  1. I have to go back and get my sister.
  2. I want to go back to school.




I would be more lenient, I think.

When you are lenient, you are not strict. Notice the following:

  1. The police were lenient and did not issue a ticket for speeding.
  2. With kids, sometimes you need to be strict, and sometimes lenient.



It’s made me appreciate what my students do.

When you appreciate something, you realize that is is something beneficial for you. Notice the following:

  1. I appreciate you coming in today.
  2. My sister does not appreciate what I do for her.

breath down your neck


You don’t have anybody breathing down your neck.

When someone is breathing down your neck, they are watching you carefully and giving you stress. Notice the following:

  1. My boss is always breathing down my neck.
  2. My mom is always breathing down my neck to do well in school.

Vocabulary Quiz

pressure • miss • go back
lenient • appreciate • breathe down
  1. Do you living in the city?
  2. Would you like to to school?
  3. Were your parents with you?
  4. Have you had a teacher your neck?
  5. Do you do well under ?
  6. What do you most about your life?

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