This is a blog of Hit and Miss. Miss, because that’s what you would call an English teacher. Hit, because I intend to be one. Hit and miss, well, that is fairly obvious, because this fits the description of my teaching method the closest.
I have been working at Meremäe school for two weeks now and my impressions are still a bit of a mash-up. We have had intense training over summer, but I suspect it takes more than the time I’ve spent at school for it to kick in. Or at least me to notice it kicking in. Or me noticing anything at all. The latter is true, because everything has been intense: meeting my colleagues, students, new work environment, new country, new life. But at the same time I have to say, it feels good and even if I do not feel ready, I am ready to rock within my abilities and I am having a good time. Which is funny, because I am struggling at the same time as well.
Most of my struggles come from two places: first, the fear of not being able to teach properly. Secondly, discipline, and that’s the theme I would like to explore in a little more detail in this post.
We are very much used to thinking that a good class (and a good one to teach in) is the one that is quiet. Most of my teaching hours my classrooms are very, very far from that. This happens mainly due to the fact that I am not a quiet person, which makes it hard for me to a) set an example and b) be truly disappointed with people who are not quiet. I tend to get excited with the students and have teachers from classrooms downstairs or next to me coming over to see if someone is killing someone. Whereas in fact we are just playing a fun word game, honestly 🙂
I also have a problem of condemning inappropriate jokes, in case they are really funny. I admit, there is a problem for me in being solemn and dignified for a long time, especially if I secretly wish that some comments by the students were something I came up with instead of them. And then try to tell them that they will receive a negative note if they don’t stop, because I do not really want them to.
Furthermore, in my opinion, the students in general seem to have changed. They are less able to keep still which is a good thing, and they need to be stimulated in a different way than the teachers (at least, some of them) still deem acceptable. They are more fidgety and less respectful to you just because you are a teacher, but if you are patient and kind, you can make them like you, and you may even be the person to teach them something they did not know about life and language. My greatest (and best) surprise has been so far, that all students are good. I mean, they scream in the class and do not do their homework, they talk back and challenge me until a grandiose headache, but so what. I mean, they are good inside and do all that stuff at the same time. And I like them for it, for not being entitled, lifeless little brats, but absolutely proper human beings, a joy to spend all this time with.