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Once a teacher always a teacher - Part 2



I step into the classroom.

I see four students looking up at me, a little puzzled, and perhaps a little apprehensive. I wouldn't blame them of course because that was the first time they saw me, and they would have had no idea what to expect.

But I took it all in stride, as an experienced teacher should. I smiled and greeted everyone. It was nice to see them smiling back. I knew that I was going to like them immediately.

For me, the first lesson is always the most important to build unit cohesion. Simply put, this is the ideal time to make them like you and trust you with their learning. And it is also the best time you get to know them as individuals.

There were four in the class.

Bronwyn mentioned that winter was a hard season for the centre, because the enrolment numbers usually dropped.

The first student was a Japanese man in his late 30s or early 40s. His name was Norifumi, and he was a full-time guardian to his daughter in NZ. I wasn't quite sure what he was trying to say because his vocabulary was a little limited, but from what I gathered, his wife had only just passed guardianship to him (which probably meant he was divorced), and that his daughter went to school here in NZ. Apparently he was a realtor back in Japan.
{Amendment: I just got to know that he and his wife take turns to become guardian, as in one takes care of the daughter, and the other takes care of their business in Kobe, Japan}

The second was a lovely Japanese lady named Rie. She was also in her 30s, and probably somewhere around my age. Her story was equally interesting. Her husband has a law firm in Japan, and she used to work as a secretary there. What was she doing in NZ? I asked. She answered that she wanted to put her son in school here. I had the impression that she was looking to stay long-term, though I'm not quite sure. Her husband was also in NZ, but only for another month until he went back to Japan. I find it fascinating that the Japanese have such mobility in the world.

The third was also a Japanese man. Very young, early 20s. Painfully shy, though not so much because he was shy, but simply because he struggled with his English. My heart went out to him as I saw him struggle to put a few words together to form a sentence. It wasn't that he didn't understand English. It was just that he couldn't produce the language well. My heart went out to him further when I discovered that he wasn't wealthy like the other two. He was in NZ to 'change his life'. Apparently he was a cleaner in Japan, and wanted to move to greener pastures NZ. But he was really, really struggling to find a job. He couldn't even get a cleaning job, which came as a surprise to me because how much communication do you need to have to clean? I resolved that I was going to help him in his quest to communicate better and ultimately get a job.

And finally there was a very young Arab schoolboy from Saudi Arabia, who just wanted to be known as Bibo. His family were on holiday in NZ, and he was there to learn English. He was a nice boy, and very polite. He reminded me of my youngest brother in a way.

After the class ended, I knew I had done a good job. I knew for certain that I enjoyed the lesson and that they had learnt something, but I wasn't exactly sure what the students thought.

The answer came from an email later in the day:
Hi Abdullah,
Yes the students enjoyed your class as well so I'm glad you found the
experience positive as well.

If it's possible can you continue with them next week in the afternoon?
The hours are 1:15 to 2:30 Mon to Thurs. Plus you have the Wednesday morning
in the Intermediate class.


I smiled...

That would be at least another 4-5 weeks that I have a job...

Let's hope the numbers go up!

If ever anyone feels like they want to come to NZ to study English, well, here's the place to go!

http://www.turningpoint.ac.nz/

Comments

Gukita said…
Good Job!!!
(Imagine Will Smith saying that ala Hancock... wouldn't be fat off.. :-))
Cat-in-Sydney said…
Errr...can a cat enrol? roar! roar! roar!
好久沒有這樣輕鬆享受閱讀的樂趣了~~留個言邀您分享我的快樂~~..................................................................
Abdullah said…
Pakcik Ali - Classic Will Smith!

Cat - hahah.. yeah, sure.. I can't make any promises as to what a cat can learn though!
在莫非定律中有項笨蛋定律:「一個組織中的笨蛋,恆大於等於三分之二。」..................................................
婚姻對男人來說是賭他的自由,對女人而言卻是賭她的幸福。.................................................................
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Growing up in the UK in the late 70s and 80s, it was almost impossible to get fast food that was halal. Definitely not like what it is today.

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