Teachers always say that one should not lie. But sometimes they may have told the biggest lie ever, like ‘I love all my kids. I treat them all the same.” I am here to confess that I am such a liar too. I miss the highly motivated kids I had and constantly lament the poor learning attitude and academic results of the kids I am having now. I thought I tried my best to engage them in lessons, but there isn’t much improvement shown. Once I was trying hard to explain the difference between past tense and present prefect tense, but then someone was playing with glue. At that very moment, I was literally devastated. Tears ran down my cheeks. I just sat there and covered up my face…how silly XD…I felt like a loser and that I was an incompetent teacher! Perhaps I should just give up.
Luckily, that thought didn’t last long. Remember the ‘I can do it’ calendar on my desk? I got cheered up every day. The powerful affirmations keep me going. I start to change my way of thinking and stop victimizing myself. The problem is not about the kids. The problem is that I need/want them to be the ones I had before. I didn’t see their uniqueness and adapt my ways of teaching.
Don’t mistake me for someone who will never feel discouraged. I am just taking baby steps on fixing my thinking and trying to DO something in my class. I want to know more about them. What interest them most? What are they good at? They may not be good learners academically, but they may be talented in other areas.
Later I came up with this idea of one-min Talent Show. Everyone has to come out and show their talents. They have to speak in English for sure and questions will be asked by other audience or me. I was surprised to see the effort they put in their performance and I was blown-away by the different talents they have shown in their performance. Some are great dancers who can dance Latin, jazz and ballet. One of them plays lawn bowl and always wants to be a professional lawn bowl player. The one who seldom speaks in class was such a talented painter. I am deeply grateful for having this chance to see the beauty and uniqueness of my kids! (Some of their performance: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XXQ_Cf71qNk, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4NHtDN24m6I,http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOSs1lyCrr8 )
I still complain about their carelessness and laziness, but that’s not the end of it. They are asked to write a reflective journal after the exam and we are going to plan our learning strategies together. We still have one more year to know ourselves and each other better. And I will take a brain-based learning workshop this summer, hoping to learn more effective teaching strategies. We are going to create a fun and encouraging learning environment. We will enjoy and cherish our time together!!