Aviation isn’t AeroCity’s Director of Administration, Misa Jakobas’ primary interest — it’s education that Misa is most passionate about and unsurprisingly so, as he had worked as a mathematics teacher for 18 years and a school principal for 30 years. However, dealing with complex issues at school taught him invaluable lessons, which Misa has successfully applied in the business environment, too. Today, on World Teacher’s Day, together with Misa, we’ll take a look at this incredibly difficult and meaningful profession, the biggest challenges the teachers face nowadays, and the lessons businesspeople can learn from the education community.
Misa’s journey towards becoming a teacher started very early when he was a student himself. “It was a teacher who noticed me. She saw that I wasn’t afraid to stand in front of the class, that I spoke eloquently, and that my words had value and weight. These qualities are a must for a teacher because you’re always in the spotlight and need to engage with your students.”
What does being a teacher mean to Misa — is it only passing on the knowledge to the younger generation, or is it also providing moral guidelines, or perhaps establishing a friendship with a student? Misa believes it’s a combination of the three, “For me, being able to both help kids academically and support them emotionally has the greatest meaning of it all. It’s not only about perfect grades and achievements, even if they’re important. First of all, children need to feel safe and seen by their teachers.”
However, nowadays, even most teachers themselves can’t feel safe due to various pressures from students, their parents, and society as a whole. According to Misa, at least in Lithuania, teachers should be respected and paid more — otherwise, it inevitably creates tensions and frustrations. “Whenever I meet my former colleagues and students, they all say that I look really good — well, I know perfectly well that I’m not getting any younger, and there must be another reason for that. And guess what? I’m sure it’s all about the school-related worries and anxieties that I left behind. Of course, every teacher worries about their students and work, but it shouldn’t leave a mark on their face. Today, I feel way calmer than I did before.”
Misa hasn’t entirely forgotten his calling, though, and nowadays still helps his colleagues and their children with various pedagogical issues. He also kindly offers free math lessons and invites everyone to approach him if their kid has trouble understanding the subject, “This way, not only can I help a child, which is always a top priority for me, but I also stay updated on what’s happening in schools, what children see and hear in the classroom and during the lessons, and what kind of educational gaps our system has.”
When asked what businesspeople can learn from teachers, Misa believes that both groups of professionals have to have impeccable communication and persuasion skills, be well-educated, and take care of themselves to look representative. Misa’s golden rule in life is to always stay curious and care about the world around us, and he encourages others to do the same, “I’m a strong believer in life-long learning because you must know your stuff, and you have to be able to say something. It’s especially vital for teachers, both at schools and adult training institutions.”
On World Teachers’ Day, Misa only wants to focus on the good things and best wishes for the teachers, despite all the troubles and imperfections of the current educational system, “I would like to wish all teachers to, most importantly, take care of their health. This job is extremely hard and stressful and requires a lot of effort, which can be harmful to human health. Therefore, I wish the teachers all the mental, physical, and emotional strength out there.”
Lastly, Misa hopes that in the future, society will become more sensitive towards teachers, too, “Teachers must be protected, respected, and helped at all costs. Of course, they’re not perfect, but those people form the next generations, and we should never take them for granted. So, if you know a teacher, I invite you to say something beautiful and thank them today. Believe me, it means the world to us.”