Back to School

Today was back  to school day for  me, teaching my 4 gymnasium classes, which is an easy  and  fun gig because it’s a good school and most of the kids are reasonably smart.  A few are not quite  as motivated as I  would like, but I have  taught so many classes (even a couple at  that school) where the students were somehow perversely motivated to resist having  a normal conversation and maybe accidentally improve their  English a bit, that a simple lack of over achieverism, does not bother me.

Of course, the  youngest  class was  brand  new and I didn’t find anybody who doesn’t already speak of bit  of  conversational  English.  Then again, I wouldn’t have.  The ones who can’t speak  English just avoid speaking much and I can’t push too hard  because it’s  time-inefficient.   I get these kids once a week for 45 minutes, I don’t want  to waste it on kids who are being dullards.

I will always remember a piece of advice from a teacher before I became a teacher, who was explaining why he didn’t use red ink (not that I would refuse to use red ink, little  boogers  can be traumatized if their skin is that thin, but the principle holds): “It’s not as if they’re selling nuclear secrets to the  Russians or something.  So, they failed a test.  It’s not a crime.

My back to school resolution (which hold a bit more weight for me than a New Year’s Eve Resolution) is to pay a bit more attention to that advice; to try and  teach everybody but not to sweat it too much if they don’t learn.


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