Effortless English Archives

Automatic English For The People

Monday, August 08, 2005

This Is Why I Teach

by AJ

I had a terrible day at work last Friday. In my Friday afternoon class I had a student mock me. I was tired. The students were bored. I was bored.

I started today feeling much the same-- dreading my first class with the International Program students. Things started badly- there was confusion with the building administration and no one could find the key to the classroom. We stood in the hall and waited and sweated.. and I was thinking, "This is going to be a terrible class".

But I was wrong. Instead I discovered a group of intelligent, bright-eyed, delightful students. My energy level grew as the class progressed. The students were alert and open.

And for the first time in Asia, a student directly challenged me (politely). He was a Japanese student and didn't totally agree with my views on language acquisition. I found his directness, curiosity, and skepticism very refreshing. He also challenged my reading assignments... he'd already read Harry Potter and wanted to read two books by Paulo Coelho instead. Though it means considerably more work for me (I have to read those books and make a test just for him)... Im ecstatic to find a student who wants to direct his own learning.

In general these were the most interesting and interested students I have taught at Thammasat. I entered class feeling tired, bored, and irritated. I left class full of energy and enthusiasm.

Today, they taught me a lesson.

Today I remembered why I love teaching (and learning).