As an ESL teacher, I am generally good at building rapport with my classes and with individual students. This is especially true when I teach an exam preparation course because the same students are with me for a longer time. When I teach a general ESL course, the students come and go on a weekly basis. While we build up a good relationship, it isn’t usually the same as an exam prep course.
Excluding my two glorious weeks in Costa Rica and the one week of illness that followed, I have been teaching a regular class three times a week since the beginning of December. The students who started that class have either improved their English and are in a different class or have gone home. Most of the students who have been there have only been there for about 6 weeks.
In a strange twist of fate, I was asked to change classes and teach a class of much older students. For some of my colleagues, this is considered a plum assignment as older students (above the age of 30) are more motivated to learn, are more willing to do homework, and are less likely to be surgically attached to their cell phones. While all of this is true, I rarely ask for classes and just teach wherever they need me.
When I told my students about the change, I was quite surprised by their reaction. They repeated the phrase “No!” several times. They asked me “why?” several times. They even suggested that I go to my boss and cancel it—as if I could.
I wrote that I was surprised because I didn’t think I had really bonded with this group. I didn’t feel as though we were getting the best out of each other. I guess I was wrong.
That means that Today’s Perfect Moment is either the outpouring of emotion from the students or the realization that I bad been doing something good. Since they are both wrapped up in each other, there is no need to choose only one of them.