Teaching a new class can be hard. You’ve got to walk into the room and win them over. When the students’ level is lower, this is more theatrics, and slow and clear speaking. When the class is quite advanced, this is not always easy. They’ve seen everything, learned everything–they certainly have talked and read about every topic in the known ESL universe, which is smaller than you might think since every book has to devote a chapter to the differences between men and women, without trying to be sexist or stereotypical and every book must have a unit on food).
Today I walked into my new class. This wasn’t particularly nerve-wracking as I have almost a quarter century of teaching under my belt. Still, you don’t know if things are going to go smoothly.
Much to my delight, the class heaped a lot of praise on me, after knowing me for only a short time. I was offered a cookie, which I declined because I had brought quite a bit of lunch and a kitkat, which I accepted because it was wrapped in a package and could be eaten later. Several students seemed to enjoy the teaching and were quite vocal about it. Most spectacularly, an attractive and lovely Italian woman, in that movie star Italian voice said, “You’re beautiful.”
I have learned to say thank you to compliments, rather than to deflect or defer them. In this case, I was left quite a bit speechless. I quite literally did not know what to say. I hope I didn’t blush too much. I was able to overcome the tidal wave of shyness that came over me, but I rode the lesson out feeling pretty awesome. It is no wonder why that is Today’s Perfect Moment
Sadly, this was the first and last time I would be her teacher. I’d call it irony, but that is not cruel enough.