Sunday, June 13, 2010
I know it's not an easy task but I have started thinking more seriously about this responsibility we have in our hands as Educators - save (help) the students that would not be considered the most brilliant ones. The inspiration for writing/reflecting came after reading an oustanding post by another must-follow blogger Shelly Terrell.
I have made a number of mistakes as a teacher and I'm glad I have had the chance to be honest about it and try to see things in a different perspective. Isn't it what living is all about? Learning from mistakes. I can't help thinking about a song "Lessons to be learned", the main idea being in life "there are no mistakes, just lessons to be learned".
Back to the ideas from the original post, I was particularly touched by a list of suggestions, kindly shared by another educator in the comments section of Shelly's post, for us to follow as Educators if we are to survive and make a difference in at least one student's life who is close to us.
From the 15 pieces of advice mentioned I guess number 15 really called my attention and it reads " We have time schedules where students are required to meet a certain level. Yet some can’t work within that time limit. It takes them longer to understand. Should we penalise them?"
This is a dilemma I have faced quite often in my career as an EFL teacher and two weeks ago I was talking exactly about it with a student of mine. She is redoing a course at the Binational Center where I teach and she's not doing "as expected" by the system again.
However, I told her I can see a lot of improvement in her performance since we started working together in February. So just like the other teacher commented she may not have reached the "expected" level of performance to move on to a higher level, yet she has made a lot of progress in the last 5 months and this must be taken into consideration.
So, this is a great opportunity for reflection. I think more often than not we end up turning our backs to "problems" assuming there is not much to be done. We are, as teachers/educators, many times overworked and it's only natural to feel demotivated to fight even harder to motivate the so called difficult, hopeless students. Who is going to motivate us? Well, different people will certainly have a different answer. As for me, I can say it is extremely gratifying when you see someone coming close to you to thank you because you were simply there for them when they themselves have thought about giving up.
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