Thursday, November 26, 2009
This morning I had speaking tests with the students. One by one they came into my office. I showed them a picture and they had to say a simple sentence which we've studied intensely.
"Let's play soccer"
"Sorry, I can't. I'm tired"
They're usually very nervous for one-on-one speaking tests, so I chat to them for about 30 seconds before we start. I ask them things like what they had for breakfast and what they enjoy about English class (I speak in broken Korean)
Today - as a teacher - I felt frustrated. A bit sad, too.
I asked some of them, "How are you?" and they replied, "It's sunny"
I repeated the question and they gave me the same answer.
I bet you're thinking that's so adorable, right? A year ago, I'd have thought they same thing. But for the past two and a half years I have placed SO much emphasis on basic greeting.
A: How are you?
B: I'm good thanks/fine thanks - and you?
So when a student answers "It's sunny" when asked "How are you?" I actually feel like bursting into tears. And - it was overcast and cold all day.
Weather is another thing I've drilled over and over again.
A: How's the weather?
B: It's sunny/rainy/windy
When I stand in front of a class asking them questions, I'm overwhelmed with joy when I hear 36 little voices chanting the answers back at me. I feel so proud to know that I've imparted knowledge to these little people.
However, the real test comes when a teacher is with a student on-one-one.
Today I questioned myself as a teacher.
What am I doing wrong? I certainly don't want to think that I'm [dare I say it] wasting my time?
I put a lot of effort into my lessons and was awarded for it earlier this year. I know there are probably other teachers who feel the way I do. I'm not a teacher by profession. So I haven't studied the sociological aspects of what is to be a teacher. But why aren't they grasping simple things I'm teaching them?
All I know is that I'm putting my all out there. How much are my students taking in? This is what has been bothering me all day.