As an English teacher, I always felt particularly proud of my efforts to try to help the weaker students in a class. I can understand how hard it is to learn a new language, and how frustrating it can be to see the people around you having an easy time of it. Conversational English teachers are given the bare minimum of training, so they aren’t always equipped to help struggling students. I tried to see weaker students as a challenge, and loved seeing the results when we were able to make a breakthrough.
I was teaching a level 6 student in Kawasaki NOVA who was struggling in many of his lessons. One evening I was lucky enough to have him in a man to man lesson: unlike a group lesson, we were able to work at his pace and I was able to give him all of the focus and feedback. He ended up having a fantastic lesson. By the time the final bell rang, he was smiling and confident. We both felt like we had achieved something.
As I was leaving the classroom, the happy student said to me “Thank you Mr. Andrew! When I speak English, I feel myself good”.
Different people have different ways to celebrate a good English lesson, but I’m pretty sure he wasn’t actually intending to feel himself.
Part of me thought I should correct him on the awkward phrasing, but I didn’t want to bring down his good mood so I let it go and left him smiling all the way out of the branch.