by Katherine Reilly, originally published in ELT NEWS
A Heart to Heart about an Educator’s Role Today
“Doesn’t anyone know the answer to my question?” you gently sigh, as half your class simply ignores your presence. You desperately direct the question to a specific student – a last attempt at rectifying the uncomfortable predicament you find yourself in – receiving an answer which will only add salt to injury. “I don’t care if I learn English or not. So, stop insisting.”
Does this sound all too familiar? No, this is not an 80s teen movie, featuring disgruntled, directionless teenagers who are in desperate need of a leader who will motivate them and, in the end, will bond as a family unit. This is a harsh reality most of us are dealing with. You might be scratching your heads wondering if this was always the case or not. Admittedly, teenagers have through the years consistently exhibited a rebellious nature, rendering it a constant challenge to keep them motivated and focused on their obligations, inspiring them to set goals to pursue in life. However, society has fundamentally changed and although our teenage students do remind us of our own adolescent years, there are many acute differences which have led to their dismissal behavior.
by Katherine Reilly, Originally Published in ELT NEWS
“Hey Ms. Katherine! Now that I’ve passed my proficiency exam, I’m officially a teacher like you! I’m capable of doing your job, right? Besides, how difficult can it be?”
Woah there! Just hold your horses for a minute. Why in the world would you believe that as a holder of a C2 level certificate in English, you’re ready to teach the language to others? Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying you aren’t, but just bear with me for a second.
It’s their first day of school, as your new pupils rush to their seats in anticipation of what they are going to do. Some are timider than the rest, while others literally have no clue as to the logic of their presence there. You can see the curiosity on their faces as to why they should attend yet another learning environment. The boldest of the bunch would eventually engage in small talk, or in some cases, fiddle with the items so eloquently displayed around them. Before long, the group is acquainted to its surroundings and that’s when you enter the classroom. Dead silence prevails and that awkward feeling of apprehension starts to sink in. You can literally feel the anticipation building up as their tiny eyes pierce through you. Careful what you do next; it will determine the outcome of the entire school year. You smile, introduce yourself, ask your students’ names and engage in a game.