The Tao of Teaching

As is normally the case, my Tuesday at school has been reasonably stressful and unenjoyable. It is my worst day of the week (six lessons in five hours), and includes the three youngest classes. This usually means trouble.

I have, after only six weeks or so, had enough of the ridiculously respectless behaviour, which causes me unnecessary and unwanted anger. Time, then, to change tactics.

Depending on how long I can keep it up, I am going to avoid becoming riled. I intend to sit patiently until I have all the children’s attention. I have explained to them that I can bring other, more interesting, work with me to do during the periods they are unruly, instead of fighting the noise level.

This idea relies on the children’s desire to learn English. If even a few of them really do not care about learning, then they can totally destroy it for the rest. I believe, though, that nearly all the children do want this knowledge. Either way, it will take time to discover if this method will work, and any parent who finds out about it, and is unhappy that the innocent are suffering because of the trouble-makers, can pose some akward questions.

Part of the goals of the national test that they receive in the fifth year expects children to be able to carry out tasks with the co-operation of others. My only defence of my “go with the flow” plan is that it is just this that the children lack. In order to work with others demands total attention, and since one cannot choose who one co-operates with, all pupils must pull their weight to stand a chance of passing this particular goal.

It is, admittedly, a weak arguement for my decision to pull out of the war, but it ultimately benefits me.