I wanted to take some time today to reflect on all six of my classes during my year here at Attamit (my school’s name). I have taught grades 7-9, so here are my thoughts as well as survey data I compiled from students during the final class. Each grade is broken up between Groups A & B, with group A tending to have stronger learners.
M2 (8th Grade) Group A: A talented group that I find hard to relate to as I was always a suboptimal language learner. Fairly motivated to learn for Thai standards. I felt I had to constantly entertain this group which was mentally taxing. In the end, they still said I was too serious in the surveys. This year, I’ve already pushed my reserved personality beyond what I thought possible. I’ve done so many things beyond my comfort zone. Up until when I felt at my mental and emotional limits during the last month, yet these kids still say I need to be more funny. I’m at a loss for words…
I was (past tense) there teacher, not a clown.
Additionally, when I ask them to perform tasks without my supervision, they don’t do it, I must hold their hands. Even when their peers not as skilled in English in Group B do what I ask without a problem. Also during the final few classes, I asked them to write in my journal if they’d like and fill out a survey about our class this year. I worked my butt off to be the best teacher, in the end I got half hearted words in the journal where many of them copied each other’s 2 sentence response. In hindsight I’d prefer that they didn’t write anything.
As for the survey, so many of them treated it as a joke and didn’t write much. Choosing instead to spend class time (yet again), chatting with friends. Their Group B classmates took it so seriously, even when their English is weak, they really tried. I treated them as I would treat my own kin. After all the blood, sweat and tears, I am saddened, grief stricken and embittered by this group. And I will actively work towards being consciously indifferent towards them.
Would I teach them again if I wanted to continue being an English teacher? No I wouldn’t. There is a lack of appreciation for all I did.
What Students Think:
“On a scale of 1 to 10, does Mr. Kingston encourage you to perform better?” 8.9
Please rate Mr. Kingston and his class: 8
M2 (8th Grade) Group B: There are a few students that are less then desirable in this class. As a whole though, I am so proud of them. They started the school year silly and uninterested, with so many wanting to sit in the back and not pay attention. In the end they actively paid attention and were sincere in their intention on wanting to learn. And I didn’t have to constantly work on trying to entertain them, leaving me more energy to focus on teaching, especially towards the end of the school year when I felt I was on my last legs. Of my 6 classes, this was the only class I felt emotional with at the end of the last class.
If I wanted to keep being an English Teacher, I would teach them again.
What Students Think:
“On a scale of 1 to 10, does Mr. Kingston encourage you to perform better?” 9.7
Please rate Mr. Kingston and his class: 8.6
Side note: I noticed I never received any gifts from M2. I received small tokens from M1, M3 and even M4 which I don’t even teach. After everything, it saddens me a bit, but such is life.