The Lineup
B.I.R. Column Of Fame
Man of Steel... Wood... and Mud: Bear Grylls
Rock Legend: Tom Morello

League Gods: The Emperor and Alfie

Str-8 Shoota: Malcolm X

Str-8 Shoota: Zack de la Rocha

Super Bad mofo's

Comrade Hillary

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Teaching.......of sorts 

Sometimes you have to wonder what you are doing. My students are between 19-21, studying something that you'd think they were actually interested in, but it never ceases to amaze just how few actually are. A typical class has around 25 students, and the rough demographic breakdown would be as follows:

5 students who are smart and keen
2 students who are smart and lazy
4 students who are keen but not so smart
7 students who are okay, turn up to all classes, and spend the whole time smiling at you not understanding a word. They then go home, forget everything done in class and watch some godforsaken Korean drama on TV. They turn up the next class as if it's their first one.
4 students who turn up to most classes but don't pay attention and are annoying as all hell
2 students who hardly ever turn up, except for exams and presentations and then complain because their mark is utter shite.
1 student who is a total nutcase.

So the key is to teach to the 9 students who are keen, but that leaves just under two-thirds of the class wasting everyone's time. At primary school and high school, you would expect such levels of apathy, seeing as the students don't exactly have a choice in the matter (for the record, I was a study geek at school, and I have managed to completely expunge that part of my character from the record). But these kids are paying to be here, they chose English as a subject, and it does get to you from time to time just how meaningless the job is when your efforts are only having a 35% effect.
And the worst part is seeing the absolute deadwood students still graduating because our marks have been "modified" by those above us.

I guess this gripe is motivated by the fact that I start oral exams next week, a self-inflicted torture (I do have the option of a written exam, but I fail to see the use of that in assessing a Conversation course) but a torture none-the-less. Having the students come in one by one and try to blurt out whatever random collection of phrases and words they managed to cram into their brains in the previous 24 hours (the aforementioned magic 9 not included) and then expect A+'s at the end of it.(None of them seem to realise that topics we do in class are best studied during the regular semester, rather than the last. fecking. minute.)

The worst part about it is I actually enjoy teaching university aged kids, and it's something i could conceivably do for a career...but not here. Not like this.

Time to muse. Doing my PhD is looking better by the second.

What is it with that breakdown?! I mean it's just so precisely true of every single bloody class that it's scary.

You can damn near name them as well.

When I see my kids learning english and look around the class I can see that the ones who are terrible at it and have no interest in it whatsoever will be the ones who will actually decide to study it at the type of college where bluebeardnz (and I formerly) works/worked.

Meanwhile the ones who take to it like a duck to water will probably be speaking English fluently when they are 20 after paying attention in class for several years and studying in their spare time for fun and then they can major in Medicine or Law instead.

So all English teachers are condemned to teaching dipshits with no ability to learn the language or REAL interest in learning it while all the smart students are off doing something that either a)challenges them or b) can earn them a fucking pickup truck full of money.

When I teach the full school classes there are some absolute gems there that pick everything up and are model students. But the ones that get enrolled in the after school classes and private school classes are the ones who have parents wanting them out of the house and doing anything other than colouring the living room floor with crayons again. Meanwhile the perfect students are probably home cooking, cleaning, taking the dog for a walk and working on their thesis presentation at the age of 11.

Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

The New
Blogging it Real supports the following sporting organisations