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Frustrated in teaching?

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Frustrated in teaching? #1 (permalink) Sat May 29, 2010 13:21 pm   Frustrated in teaching?

Hi all..

Do you ever feel really bored in doing your work?
I think so. and how to cope with that matter?
This is also happening to me for the last two years till now. I don't know exactly the causes. Or i just knew it but i could help myself no longer since i knew it was hard to solve. Well... in Bali, as one provinces of Indonesia where i am teaching, has lost its room for the teachers i mean no more idealism. we have very limited freedom to improvise in classroom. Or if we do, it will mean very little to the students, especially when they have their final national examination. The students mostly think why we should study hard for the exam while they will have the key answered soon just before the test. I had no idea how they got the key answer but they had it for sure.
With this case, they would get (very) high score. Just as an illustration, for English, honestly i know how my students' mastery of this subject but the (manipulated) test had made their score beyond things i could imagined. Ohh.. my God.

The tendency here is just the score and ignoring the real principle of studying a 2 language. As the result, I or many of my teachers' friends got frustrated in teaching. More and more students begin to dislike studying.
We have no power when the policy maker asked for that though, it was really implicit policy. I lost my appetite in teaching but this is the only my bread and butter.

hopeless teacher
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Joined: 19 May 2010
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Location: Bali

Frustrated in teaching? #2 (permalink) Sat May 29, 2010 17:17 pm   Frustrated in teaching?

I wish I was bored in Bali. I feel so sorry for you!

As for the students having the "key;" either one of your colleagues sold it to them, or carelessly left it lying around.
Keep it simple ... Keep it interesting.
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Frustrated in teaching? #3 (permalink) Sat May 29, 2010 22:51 pm   Frustrated in teaching?

Hi Adinn,
I'm an English teacher (in Tunisia) as well, I'm 28 years old. It's true that nowadays' students are more interested in technology and mathematics etc. than in learning a language, but I think that there is a percentage who do like learning languages. In addition, the method of the teacher in the classroom has an influence on them. As far as I am concerned, I teach at university in which the English language is not important. However, through my method I see that my students (knowing that my students and I have almost the same age) are becoming more interested in English than before. They attend the course, they participate in the classroom, they do their homework, they prepare well for their exams... They are happy with what they are doing.
So, don't be desperate and try to regain your influence on your students. It's not hard especially if it becomes a question of doing one's job with pleasure, because I really feel happy and excited when teaching.
Good luck.
I'm new here and I like it ;-)

Joined: 12 May 2010
Posts: 19
Location: Tunisia

Hello Soumaya #4 (permalink) Sun May 30, 2010 1:27 am   Hello Soumaya

Hi Soumaya, glad to meet you.

I have to thank you very much for your reply post. It is a great help for me. I do agree with you about the method in teaching. I hope I could turn back to my own track in teaching. Well, i know it's going to spend much of my energy and emotion. If only you were here in my school, you would feel the true atmosphere in teaching. thanks

unlucky teacher
I'm new here and I like it ;-)

Joined: 19 May 2010
Posts: 37
Location: Bali

Frustrated in teaching? #5 (permalink) Mon May 31, 2010 5:43 am   Frustrated in teaching?

Adinn, here is what I think works:

Get so good at English and at teaching that you're the 800-pound gorilla in the school. Nobody tells an 800-pound gorilla what to do. If your results can't be argued with, nobody will snoop into your classroom and bother you.

Run your class in a way that amuses you, and it will probably also amuse the students. Even if it doesn't amuse most of them, at least you're having fun!

Cover the material in a way that keeps the students off balance. There are ways to test them on material while making sure that their memorization won't help them much. You can really throw them off balance if you give them tasks to achieve instead of answers to regurgitate.

When I taught overseas, my classroom looked very chaotic to the local people. The students never knew what to expect, they had to be ready to react quickly in English at any moment. They thought I was so crazy that they never knew what I was going to do next, so they had to be ready for ANYTHING I might do or make them do. Often they went to my administrators and complained that I wasn't preparing them for their graduation exams. The administrators left me alone. I continued running this crazy class until their graduation exams, and for a guy who "wasn't preparing them", I must have done a pretty good job, because my students were almost a full year ahead of everybody else's.

One of my most cherished moments was when one boy had to give a presentation to the class in English. He had worked all weekend writing the presentation on a piece of paper, and he just read from that paper. I told him to stop reading from the paper and to talk to the class. He continued reading from the paper, so after the third warning, I snatched the paper out of his hand and ate it. Then he COULDN'T use the paper!

A few years later, when they needed English in their careers, some of the students wrote and thanked me. One took a test to be a stewardess, and she said she was almost the only girl in the group who could react quickly in good English.

But the main trick is to make their class grade dependent on their success at tasks that the answer key won't help them with.
Jamie (K)
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Frustrated in teaching? #6 (permalink) Mon May 31, 2010 18:18 pm   Frustrated in teaching?

Hi Adinn, hi everyone,
To tell you the truth I face the same problem as you do. I often lack feedback from my students, usually they are lazy and stubborn, eager to cheat, besides it is possible to buy keys to the tests, as well. So I understand you very well.
Teachers are seldom respected in my country (by both goverment and society). Moreover many parents come to schools to have fights with strict teachers esp. when they pay for the education of their offsprings.

I agree that the air of authrity is a very important feature for the teacher. I always appreciated demanding teachers, since I do belive that people thrive under preassure (at least I'm the one who did). Well, we (teachers) are actors to some extent and JamieK, who must be a very gifted & experienced in the field of teaching, is absolutely right we have to invent something unususal, standout to make classes more interesting and students more motivated. And the only way to do it is to expand your own knowledge and to become as perfect as possible. Love and admiration of students is not of great importance. What matters more is result. I don't mean that teacher is equivalent to the beast, but I agree that 'education must be carried on with severe sweetness".
I'm a natural blonde, please speak slowly ;-)
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Thanks Jamie #7 (permalink) Tue Jun 01, 2010 2:52 am   Thanks Jamie

hi Jamie..glad to meet you here.

Well... you know i have to read your reply post 3x to assure me that i do understand it. and i do. I had also the same experience with you when i got mad to the very lazy student. i tore his paper into pieces for kept cheating and you know what happened then. His parents reported me to my local superior concerning to local education and they blamed me. I was not supposed to do it they said.
And from the time on.. i felt why i should be a good teacher.. if anything was easily interfered..
In some cases, i totally agree with you because there are also some students need a tough strict teacher to make them motivated. But i could count them only with my fingers.

I'm new here and I like it ;-)

Joined: 19 May 2010
Posts: 37
Location: Bali

Thanks Baqheera #8 (permalink) Tue Jun 01, 2010 3:23 am   Thanks Baqheera

Hi.... pleased to meet you Baqheera..

Thank you so much for your reply post.. i love to read it. The same problem and different treatment... well i am gonna try yours. Thanks
I'm new here and I like it ;-)

Joined: 19 May 2010
Posts: 37
Location: Bali

Thanks Baqheera #9 (permalink) Tue Jun 01, 2010 17:35 pm   Thanks Baqheera

Nice to meet you too.
If you feel like discussing some teacher's matters you are welcome. That is the reason why I registered on this site. Actually I guess that exchange of experience and ideas is quite useful in our job.
I just wanted to support you as I think all teachers have same problems, though it doesn't mean that there are no solutions. Don't be disillusioned and frustrated, as there is nothing constructive in pessimism. We, teachers, are people who create studens' personalities and even if we have only one promising student in our group it is worth while working and living.
I'm a natural blonde, please speak slowly ;-)
I'm a Communicator ;-)

Joined: 09 Apr 2010
Posts: 1319
Location: Ukraine, Lviv

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