happy teaching moment

Posted: January 29, 2008 in All and Sundry, commentary, Musings, Random Observations

sometimes being a teacher can be a very lonely and stressful job. you are expected to be this infallible authority, a moral celebrity of sorts, who holds all the knowledge meant to be imparted to students who are “tabula rasas” waiting for you to enlightened them, as if they are empty vessels. but that’s not always the case. students are not “tabula rasas” that’s why they shouldn’t be spoon fed. teachers on the other hand, are human beings too and they are also imperfect individuals.

that’s why to make them laugh is golden.

one of my happiest memories of being a teacher happened today during my literature class. i had assigned my students to read gina apostol’s “a tall woman from leyte” as the reading assignment for discussion the other week. so this morning, i told them i was going to give them a one-on-one graded oral recitation. i prepared one question for each student. most of them were a bit nervous about answering questions to me as though they are in a job interview, so they as expected stammered their way to good grades, or ended up saying “i don’t know.”

it didn’t even make me mad that most of the students didn’t read the story. then one of the bright male students in the class came in with a smile. “so were you able to read the story?” i asked. he smiled back and replied with nonchalance, rolling his eyeballs: “uhm.. yes, i just finished it before i came here.” i couldn’t help but giggle when he plopped on the chair in front of me, threw his hands in the air and said: “what the heck give it to me! there’s no harm in trying, right?” so i asked him the question. after i did, he looked down the floor, shook his hand, looked up the ceiling, touched his chin with his thumb and forefinger, and stared at me then snapped his fingers: “curse the time! i just read that part before i went inside the room!”

i giggled then told him to try to recall one more time. he bowed his head again, snapping his fingers in the process, then shook his head, looked at me and with a wide smile said: “nope. nada. no idea. i can’t remember anything at all.”

i told him it’s okay. then he left the room shaking his head and muttering: “curse the time!”

that moment made me smile for the entire duration of the literature class. i find the student’s reaction quite amusing. he was a perfect example of the cartoon network generation–good facility of the english language, and very expressive facial expressions. i am thrilled to be in a class like that.

perhaps, moments like those are worth being a teacher after all, even though they are few and far between.

  1. kat says:

    ma’am claire, i miss your animated ways. “curse the time!” haha.

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