something about the day

22 05 2007

in the lesson this afternoon, which i had forgotten about from being too busily writing my appraisal, i shared with my students that a lot of things need to be taken into consideration for the next year. some of them freaked out a little, thinking that i wouldn’t be teaching them english, and my heart was a little glad, to be honest. it would have sucked if they had come to the conclusion that i wouldn’t be teaching them any more, and then felt happy about it. last year’s experience was horrible, and i wouldn’t even chalk it down to inexperience. i wouldn’t want a repeat of that to happen again, ever. i really need this class to be honest with me, even though i know that telling them to be real with me is not going to avail much; it really requires the foundation of honesty to be there. And how else can this be built but for an example to be set for it?

one thing that has been raised recently is how much they’re learning, compared with how much input i’m giving. a lot of my time and energy has been put into marking their essays and providing written feedback, but it’s been very frustrating to realise that they are not really learning from it, and they aren’t even improving. this is a particular problem, as my boss(es) said this morning, because i seem really withdrawn this year, and i have been very lonely at work. they said that this may be because i spend far too much time planning and reflecting and investing in the classes i teach (which will not belong to me for necessarily more than one year) and not enough time thinking of the bigger picture: the performance of all students in the form, and the performance of all students in the school. my head nearly exploded at this – the implications are too huge. i’m barely managing as it is, and you want me to think about other classes too??

but last year, even with three classes, it seemed much easier and much more enjoyable. this year, however… i mean, there are aspects of it that i have simply loved, but other things about it have been devastating and hard to cope with.

i had shared with them this morning that although i see the need for friends and people one trusts at work, it’s difficult to ensure that what you share ends with the person with whom you share. it’s difficult to ensure that it stays where you want it to, especially nowadays, when so much is going beneath the surface. i would say that this is the most frustrating aspect of this academic year.

well okay, ONE of the most frustrating aspects, if i’m being totally honest.

in the meeting, i said some days i love this work and i love being with this age group and i love being here. and other days i want to quit and become a biophysicist (unless the very name of that particular position is an oxymoron) or an electrical engineer. my boss actually scoffed. i didn’t think that was a sound one could make and not burst one’s vocal chords. she said i wouldn’t be able to get a job in the field and then went on to say, “why not p.r.? you’d make a lot more money doing p.r. than what you’re making now.” ideas, ideas… and that was entertaining to witness.

things will be alright though.

it’s just a little stress and pressure; what’s the big deal?

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