Life lesson learned, if you’re always nice to everyone eventually someone is going to walk all over you. About the old saying “do unto others as you would want others do unto you” sounds nice, reality sometimes dictates otherwise.
It is unreasonable to assume everyone acts like a decent human being. So treating people unkindly is needed from time to time to demonstrate you’re no pushover. I’ve learned this the hard way from my M3 class as my initial friendly demeanor seems to have set the impression to them that they can goof off in my class. It saddens me to say that only punitive measures seem to have any affect on their behavior. On a positive note it does seem that my transition from a friendly personality to a cool, professional approach has yielded better results.
I don’t think I’ll ever be fond of this group of students by the way I was treated in the beginning of the semester when I was a complete novice and trying to figure this teaching in a foreign country thing all out. Then again I have an open mind, so if things dramatically change, I’ll adjust my outlook accordingly.
Whether this group likes me or not is secondary. Even if they hate my guts (they never liked me much anyways) I’ll only be teaching them for six more months. And if getting them to hate me is the price that needs to be paid to make the job of next year’s teachers easier, I’m willing to bite the bullet. The problem seems to be snowballing for the past 2 years with this group. If I’m able to drive a stake and reverse some of their poor behaviour, I would feel I’ve made a positive impact during my tenure at Attamit rather than just another warm body that filled a position. Dealing with this group reminds me of a saying I took with me during my senior year in high school transitioning to college:
“Don’t expect nothing from nobody”
Going forward in anything I do, I think it’ll be easier for me to assume that anything I want won’t be handed to me like it’s owed to me, but rather has to be earned.
Kingston S. Lim
August 18, 2019