Dec 12, 2008

Act out a Theater

My first one-on-one male student, together with his mother and sister arrived to the Philippines. Just like any Koreans, they came over to study English at some academies that offer English lessons. They have rented an apartment and agreed to the lessor to stay for a few months.

Before the start of any class, our boss saw to it that a brief background about the student will be given. As asserted to me, the student disliked to study English and knew little English words. Another test for my abilities as a teacher has yet waited to be shown.

First day of the class is always a significant part of my teaching career. They say that first impression lasts. But if I were to ask, I negate to believe this popular maxim. First meeting with the student is a crucial stage for me because that is when I think of the proper teaching techniques and strategies to be applied in class.

All the things being described about him was true. He was too quiet to express what's on his mind. I have tried hard to be amiable as possible. I've given all the sweetest smiles I could. My voice was the softest and spoke slowly for him to comprehend what I needed him to. Every time I asked him a question, I patiently waited for his reply anticipating the little English words he knew. And that's not all, I even drew some pictures on the paper of some words he didn't understand. If he still couldn't get through, I made some gestures.

After a few weeks, I was delighted to see his improvement. He was able to smile and made some facial expressions while relating a story about his life. As a remembrance, he gave me a cell phone accessory from Korea and I still carry it until now.

The situation reminded me of one of my best teachers in college. For you to be a good teacher according to him, you must sometimes act as if you're in front of many spectators at a theater.

Nov 22, 2008

Once a Rude

“What?” is often the word I’ve heard from my young male student. Whenever I corrected him, he bluntly shouted at me that same word. At first, I was so shocked and yet was challenged to have such kind of student. From him I have learned how to be more patient.

As the days went by, same things happened. I corrected him, he yelled at me. In spite of that, I finally decided one day to report the incidents to the staff and made up my mind never to continue classes with him. I didn’t know what made me so determined to do it but I gathered my strengths to let it known to the right people.

On the following day, I expected not to see my student on my schedule. On the contrary, I still saw him on my list. So I asked the staff I consulted the previous day the reason, and then she said that the student didn’t want to change his teacher. And the mother of the student promised that never will that situation happen again.

Oh my God! I got nervous. I didn’t know how I would conduct the class. Mixed emotions enveloped my senses. I disliked him being rude at me but still happy to know that he still wanted me to be his teacher. I tried to understand him and think positively that he liked me as a teacher. And so during the class, I acted as if nothing happened.

After a few days, I have learned to love him and I think he also did the same to me. What he lacked was knowledge about some polite expressions, and I taught him how. He was once a rude student, now a polite one.

Nov 18, 2008

Her Great Dreams

My student has great dreams. She is one of my outstanding students on the Telephone English class. Her telling of true-to-life experiences to me made me feel like I’m her one true friend.

When I corrected her grammar, she carefully listened and tried her best to apply the knowledge I had imparted. I couldn’t remember any single class that she ever complained about my instruction. She welcomed corrections and even asked questions for some things that she could hardly understand. I believe that real students need be like that. Students who are interested to learn have to clarify things for them to easily comprehend. They must not be afraid of committing mistakes.

One time during in one of our discussions, she mentioned of having a school of her own. She would like to be a teacher. She wanted to be like me, and I think that was a rewarding statement coming from a favorite student. Aside from that, she dreamed of running a watch business named after her. And that’s not all, she is also planning to sell watches to be designed by her.

I have tried to ask how she is going to make it, but she was too afraid to divulge it to me. Trying to ponder how she reacted, I have learned that we should dream big dreams and shouldn’t let anyone steal our dreams.

Nov 16, 2008

First Daughter

I’ve noticed two young Korean girls who were looking at me while I was entering the office. It was the day when I was supposed to give a demo class. I have passed the exams, interviews and that was the last requirement that I had to undergo before I could start to work at the academy. One of the two girls was asked to be my student in the said class.

During the class I’ve observed that both eyes of the Korean girl sparkled. It delighted me to see those chinky eyes glowed when I spoke. After the demo, I got the job as an online and one-on-one English teacher.

When I went to work the day after, I was amazed to find out that my first student was the Korean girl who acted as my student in the demo class. Since then, we had a one-on-one class for two hours. Our class lasted for almost two months. We shared a lot of stories, both good and bad. And I could feel that a relationship was built day after day. Everything has its end, so one day had come for us to say goodbye. She gave me a pair of silver dangling earrings and I gave her something from the Philippines. I miss her. I really miss my first daughter.

Nov 12, 2008

Teacher's comment


I'm fine today but a little worn-out. My company came up with this new teacher's comment and they want us to apply it right away. They didn't given us some time to adjust to it. It's lengthy. They want us to correct the pronunciation, sentence construction and so forth. We've been doing that but not all everyday. I mean I've been correcting each of my student just one sentence they created. And sometimes corrected just one or two mispronounced words. But now it's different they expect us to give more.

I believe in correcting students whenever they make mistakes. But I think my company should also consider the time factor. I mean an ample time need to be alloted to make comments. How can we give thorough comments if there's time constraint. For instance, in my case I've got classes from three to five students straight. My company must manage our schedule properly. They have to set aside extra time after each class. Maybe five or ten minutes have to be allocated to give effective remark.

My Korean students are paying us to teach them English so I guess we must give our very best. But how about us? I hope our head will take time to listen to our concern.

Got to go. Bye!