"He was my teacher..." Some words on the relation between teachers and students
In advance: the following article will be a little bit provocative and maybe some of you will hate me after that. But: it is not my intention to hurt anyone. I just want to clear some things up in order to embetter the relation between students and teachers...and avoid misunderstandings.
In advance II: Dear boys. I appreciate your appreciation, but I am not gay. I am happily married and in a relation for more than 10 years now. And if it depended all on me, it could go like that a some hundred years more.
So, please, do not waste your time in reserving trial lessons in order to find out if I share your tasts. I do not. Don´t get me wrong. I have NOTHING against you. One of my best students is gay and it is a pleasure to work together with them. ... and I hope, this collaboration will last as long as possible, because he is a wonderful person and I respect his interests 110 %.
But it was him who said that many people search language platforms in order to find something beyond language. Maybe this is understandable, too. It is not so wild as a disco, maybe there are more serious people, with studies and interests...you can control everything from home...yes, maybe I understand you. But there is a problem.
Our generation just lived one of the most difficult economic periods of Europe´s after WWII-history. A whole generation of skilled people in Southern Europe had to emigrate to the north in order to get jobs that are below their academic or professional formation. They are below their formation because they do not speak the languages in order to get better jobs. The public schools here in Spain (or Italy) are a desaster regarding the language formation. These people need help. And it its very difficult to find places where they get the language education according to their particular situation. No one of today has time to realize intensive language courses 4 days a week when having two jobs at the same time. No one has the money to pay the expensive private academies. Platforms like Verbling are the only solution they have when they want to find a teacher who is able to give them what they need. And by reserving lessons at the best hour just in order to flirt or look for contacts ... you only make their difficult situation even more complicated, because you take their time for a possible lesson. And, of course: you take our time reserved for people whom we rely on - in our job as teachers.
Said enough on this - I would like to go ahead and turn away from students to the teachers. Yes, to us. I am sure that most part of the personal who is teaching many years is able to deal with this issue and does not need any advice. But maybe when you are beginning teaching, things could get complicated when you have students in your age and .. maybe... being "your type". It happened to all of us. And you don´t have to be ashamed. Feelings are feelings. And when you are sharing time with a person you are confortable with and not only that, even earning money with it...how beautiful can live be!
..no one prohibits you to enjoy it.
But. Never forget: your job is teaching, not flirting, not listening to private life, not talking about your private things, but teaching the language. This person is paying money for it and inverts time and energy and..most important: trust. So, at the end of the day, your mission is to fulfill the teaching plan and nothing else. ..going to bed knowing that the student has made an advance in the materia - this is you need to go for. And nothing more.
Remember: you are the teacher and not part of their private life. Respect it.
Of course. There are sometimes situations where a student has a problem and you may give a help...just for the same reason. You are not part of their life and an insight from outside may help the student. And sometimes, solving a determined problem can help to put a class back in line - and of course, when someone needs help, we should assist. This is what makes us humans. Nevertheless, there are very few situations where this is really necessary. Normally, students have their things everyday and making them concentrate in class in order to distract them from their daily troubles solves 99 % of these minor problems.
And..did you notice?...I talked about students in plural, not your "favourite student." No one can impede that there are students you are calling your sentimental attention more than others. This is live. But: you should appreciate every class and have the same disposal for every student. When sometimes are situations where you are connecting beyond the materia and just happy to share time together..then you are very lucky..be happy that it happened and leave it there. .. but: let this happen with every student...sometimes it takes more than with others, but it always works. The most beautiful thing in this job is sharing time with people who selected you voluntarly, because they believe in your competence. And just by that your are luckier than 80 % of the rest of the people in the world.
Make the best out of it. Trust is a wonderful present - one of the most valuable other persons can give to you. Don´t destroy it.
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