Tuesday, November 13, 2007

09 Nov: Things were getting a little out of hand for my Electronics students. One student refused to read when I asked him to cos "I don't know". Told him it's okie. Don't know then learn. Just learn slowly. Another student called him "a buffalo"...... No idea what that means but I guess it means stupid or something like that. Then that student said something angrily in Thai and left the class. Things happened so quickly and everyone was shocked including me. I felt that no point going after an angry man (or should I say teenager) and asked him to continue with my class. He needed some time to cool down. I gave the rest of the class a stern face (which was different from my usual friendly-Teacher-Yan look). After that, no one in the class dared to tell me "I don't know". The weaker ones even volunteered to read. Is it a good thing that this "bad" incident had happened? It's my turn to say I don't know..... I need to think on what to do next..... It's bothering me.

12 Nov: Had been thinking hard over the weekend. What if that student doesn't turn up for my class? I know. I'm going to give the rest of them a "heart-touching" lecture (Note: this speech will be expressed in Thai as the students most probably wouldn't understand too-difficult-English) on "Teamwork", "Cannot-say-stupid", "Cannot-laugh-at-others-when-the-English-is-incorrect", blah blah blah...... Then I'll instruct them to find that student back before they can have my class..... Together as ONE class...... Great! Seems perfect!
But things don't always turn out the way I expected them to be. Met that student on my way to class. I had to leave my pride somewhere and started a conversation with him...... I need to know if he's alright.
ME: Going for my class?
HE: No.....
ME: Why? U don't like me to teach?
HE: Yes.....
ME: (Sadly) Oh..... ok..... (I was about to say that I can help him to arrange to change class)
HE: No, no, no..... Teacher..... sorry..... I like.
ME: :-) Okie, see u in the classroom.
Phew! My "lecture" was still given to the class in Thai-lish style (i.e. in Thai and sometimes English when I don't know the word; Told them to check the dictionary when I gave them the English word). Whatever it is..... As long as they got my message. And of cos, I made myself clear that no one is to leave the class when I'm still teaching.


AHL said...

Hey, this is part of teaching. Heart aches, pains & worries come along the way. I'm worried for this student. Something else bigger might be bothering him. Go talk to him alone, find chance to. Not sure what to talk abt but the main point is to show that you really care to know what actually happened to him privately tatz affecting his attitute in class. Not easy but need lotz of guts, patience & determination to find the root of his fear...

Choosy said...

Thanks for the advice.
It'll be difficult to empathise with us, the foreigner teachers, unless u r in it too. Language is really a BIG barrier esp. for this group of students. In this group, most of them prob just know "ABC". They have problems remembering vocabulory, so we can simply forget about asking them to form/ understand sentences..... Well, it really needs a lot of patience teaching this particular class. But don't worry. I choose to believe that I have "that" in me.

AHL said...

Oh true true, i've forgotten abt this critical issue. Not easy not easy.