There are some times when you teach English in Japan, when you just want to take the nearest heavy object, and smack yourself in the head until you’re unconscious. We’ve all had those students; the ones that don’t like structured lessons but won’t even try to attempt making conversation. It makes an hour lesson not only painful but suicidal-thought inducing. I have a few students like this, however running my own school has it’s perks, I can do whatever I want in terms of lesson content, working at a McEikaiwa it’s impossible so I am very thankful.
Of course there are the students on the opposite end of the spectrum that are great conversational participants, they answer questions in detail and ask questions in return. And the funny thing, it has nothing to do with language level, I firmly believe that those who succeed the most at other languages are those who try to make conversation, not those who study the most. It’s these students that make me feel guilty for taking their money, at least if they bore the fuck out of me I have no problem with charging them for my pain, but when they are genuinely interesting people who I would talk to an hour for free if we were at a party, makes me feel bad. Just a teeny bit mind you, we all gotta make a living somehow!
One of these great students asked me a question the other day that really got me thinking, his question was:
“What is the moment that changed your life the most?”
Of course he asked it more like “Corinne-sensei, ahhh number 1, ahh, shocking… eh, shocking okashii ya na… shocking only bad ne? Shocking ka super good time wa when??”
Once I’d taught him ‘life-altering moment’ and told him not to pepper Japanese so much in his sentences, I thought about it.
My response was when I found out I was pregnant with Ash, and to be fair it was a pretty damn close second, but I couldn’t really reveal my real one because it was just too…personal? Inappropriate? Although the student had just proudly told me that his was when he discovered he was infertile at age 23 and then made the decision to divorce his wife on good terms because he knew she wanted kids. The paper I’d used to correct him was hilarious, little pictures of sperm with big crosses through them! His was pretty personal so maybe I should have revealed, but there was something about a tale of near-molestation that would have put a dampener on the lesson, even more so than male infertility if that was even possible!
So does anyone care to share their most life-altering moment?? I’m working on writing mine so will post it next post!