>One of the reasons I’ve been kind of down lately is because of work. Remember when I was saying how I had so much work and I was stressed because of that? Well, they took a class away from me. A huge chunk of hours (9/week) at that. So that had be bouncing from one extreme of stressed to the next. But I digress, this post isn’t really about that.
Another reason I was feeling down is because I started to doubt myself as a teacher. This was mostly due to a private class I teach to two businessmen. They are nice people and seem very intelligent. But they are not good at languages. I don’t blame them. They have stressful jobs and probably little time to study. But because my job is to “facilitate learning” (yay TEFL course) and they aren’t learning, I started to think that I wasn’t a good learning facilitator. I started to think, “What the heck am I doing here teaching English if these students can’t even grasp the present simple?!??! Maybe I should quit right now.”
But then I realized: it’s them, not me. I have taught the present simple to other students. Yes, it’s hard, with the do/does and what not (WHY OH WHY IS ENGLISH SO COMPLICATED?) but my other students get it after a few classes. If they make a mistake, I can correct them easily by saying “What word is missing?” and they realize right away that they need to add do or does when making questions or negatives. These two businessmen, not so much. They only think about English for 1 hour twice a week and don’t incorporate it at all into their lives. I’ve told them that if they want to improve they have to start thinking about things in English and not translating. But I can only repeat myself so many times.
So today I realized that I might as well have fun with them, because it’s obvious that they aren’t going to learn as fast as I want them to. So I’m speaking slightly more Spanish in class so at least we can laugh a little bit at my jokes (I’m pretty witty, but only if you understand what I’m saying!) and today FINALLY one of them got the rule for the present simple. I felt like jumping up and down and hugging him.
Moral of the story? If your students aren’t getting it, relax and don’t stress out. Because when you’re stressed out, I think the students sense it.
Things are looking up, my friends. I think I’m out of my “beginning of winter” funk. Mom and sister arrive in 3 days! Life is good.