I’ve never taught young students. Although it is what I originally wanted to do. I dreamed of teaching the little ones. The age group of 6 to 8 year olds.
But that’s not who I teach. I teach adults. Those that are in their mid-twenties. I’ve taught the18 to 22 age bracket as well. And for four years I taught all over the map ages. As young as 11 and as old as mid-fifties.
I can honestly say I’ve experienced more of the well behaved students than the non-well behaved kind. And that’s where I’m going with this blog.
The non-well behaved students. Can we call them bad? Is it right or fair to label them as bad? Or is that politically incorrect? Is it wrong to call them bad as it’s more of their behavior and not them as a person? Or is it right on the money because it’s their bad personality that has them acting badly.
I mean there are bad people in this world. Hitler comes to mind. He may have been brilliant and even nice to people, but think it’s safe to say that he was a very very bad person.
I wonder if he was a bad student.
But what constitutes a bad student?
Is it their behavior?
Their behavior and their scores?
I personally don’t think how a student does on an exam means they are a bad student. Some people are just not good test takers.
Now, you can have a student that misbehaves in class and because of that ends up with low scores.
At the same time you can have a student that misbehaves in class and always makes high scores.
So, it really comes down to behavior. How a student acts in class. Disruptive with using their phone, talking when teacher is giving instructions, off topic talking when doing in class assignments, sleeping or just not doing anything.
It doesn’t make them a bad person. But it does make them a bad student, right? Or no?
I mean, after all we aren’t talking about kids. Or even teenagers. We are talking about grown ups. Folks that have been in the work force even. People who should know better.
I guess that makes them not students but rather trainees. Which in that case they are bad traineees. Who if they continue to have attitude and are unwilling to be responsible and accountable for their actions will end up being bad employees.
And that’s why I feel personally responsible for them. That while they are under my watch, under my supervision, I do my best to not just teach them the English language but to also help them with in the ways they can be the best at their future jobs. With regards to: being punctual, being respectful, having manners, following rules and policies, being effective communicators, proper use of the chain-of-commad. Yes, soft skills. So, when they go to their jobs they’ll be more apt to do great jobs. They’ll get promotions as well. And I’d feel good and grateful knowing I contributed to that.
My problem though is this. I am told that I care too much. That I can’t help them all. That some students, trainees, just don’t and won’t get it. That sharing my life experiences to help them learn is a waste of time. But does that mean I should just stop doing that and stick to the facts.? Meaning, just teach from the book and keep personal stuff out of it. Why give love, support, care, kindness, respect and hard work to those that don’t appreciate it. Why impart my wisdom with the hopes it will help them? To bad students, to bad trainees? If all I get is grief and disrespect in return.
It comes down to…this is just who I am. I can compromise a lot on how I teach. But I can’t stop caring and being an experiential teacher. Including life experiences that tie into what we teach is so beneficial. And I’ve had students share that with me. During my time as their teacher and after. They’d thank me for what I taught them.
And that is why I’m not going to stop being the teacher that so many students love. For the minority of bad, ungrateful, misbehaved ones.
I may change my profession, but I’ll not change the part of me that has been the part of my success in the classroom. Especially not for the students, trainees, that only know how to be arrogant and self-centered and know–because they are not willing to know–nothing about self-reflection. No ma’am!
As for are there bad students, bad trainees? Yes, I believe there are. Which, honestly, I didn’t believe that before now. But now, more than ever, I see that some students, some trainees are bad. Maybe they are not bad people. Maybe they are. I only know what I observe. And though they are not the majority, which I hope will always be the case, they exist. Just as there are bad teachers. Bad lawyers. Bad doctors. Bad mothers and fathers. Bad leaders. Bad everything. If we have bad everything than surely we can have bad students. Or in my case bad trainees.
And true as that may be, the take away is I’ll continue to be the best I can be. Hoping against hope that maybe just maybe I’ll be able to make a positive difference with those that can be full of negativity.
Eternal optimistic? Nope, I just try to live by name. 😉