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Eat. Play. Teach. Blog entry #12: Means to an end by Georgina Selander
to an end by Georgina Selander
“Please face the front.” I breathe out
violently, trying my
damndest not to lose my cool.
“I don’t want to,” she replies venomously in
The remark is made doubly rude by the fact that she’s omitted
the ‘yo'at the end of the
word (an honorific
signalling respect). What’s more, I’ve foregone the
textbook in lieu of a game – one that everyone else seems to be enjoying – so what’s with the attitude?
She turns around again.
I wonder why my co-teacher hasn’t come to my defence.
It’s a fundamental lie that teachers “don’t have favourites”. It goes without saying that any student who
is eager to learn and who participates enthusiastically in class is a pleasure
to teach. This has nothing to do with grades or proficiency. Yes, a good mark
gives us the pleasure of knowing we’ve done our part adequately. But a committed low-level student certainly outweighs a competent, yet insolent, one.
Summer camp - Advertisement design workshop
An amazing university lecturer once told me, “never let
them see you sweat”. It’s an invaluable lesson, and one I constantly need to remind
myself of. While it might be necessary to call a student out on bad behaviour,
the ‘how’ is everything. Flying into a rage or screaming at the top of your
lungs will only expose your vulnerabilities to your students – one they can use
to their advantage.
And so I quietly
return to front of the class – making a concerted effort not to let the histrionics
of one student spoil the class for the rest.
into my Korean adventure, my patience continues to be tested. But at the same
time, it’s been an incredible study in not taking things personally.
teenagers come hand-in-hand with teaching middle school-ers – and often times
they’re just trying to ‘act cool’ in front of their friends.
But let me
not get too negative here. There are moments – as rare as they might be – that
make up for any hardships you might face.
A few weeks
ago I held a Summer Camp. Every year, during their vacation, students sign up
for various extra-curricular classes.