Wednesday, 4 April 2012


I need to change the way I teach. Actually what I really need to do is teach less and write more but then there is the whole bread'n butter conundrum which I haven't managed to solve yet.  So in the meantime (until I find a way for my words to feed my mouth full-time) I need to change the way I teach. Well not the teaching itself.  I am quite good at getting students to conjugate verbs. No.  What I need to do is change how I relate to my students. I relate too much. I share too much. I build bonds which are not complete friendships but nor are they strangers either. I believe that part of getting students to talk is to show interest in them. Not just treat them like numbers or bums-on-brown-seats. And I feel this deep in my heart - I  care about my classes.  But this week my way of 'relating' has come to cost me in 2 different ways. In one case I have found myself becoming a bit of an obsession - unhealthily so - and now this student will have to leave my class. I feel bad about this. I feel bad for him. But I feel uncomfortable now. I feel a little afraid too. The other case, ironically,  comes from being too honest, bonding too much. I may lose a class because I have uncertainties about my future here in Basel. I mean nothing has changed at this point. I am still here. I am totally here but when they asked if it might change I couldn't lie and say it wouldn't. Perhaps I should have lied but I can't do this to my students. I'll just have to brush up my busking skills so I can eat if the class ends.
The truth is I don't think i can change the way I teach. It's who I am. It's how I teach. I just need to learn how to roll with the punches and grow beans for leaner times.

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