Tuesday, November 19, 2013

#30GoalsEdu: Goal 23: Make the difficult choice

Coming towards to the last goals, it is getting more and more difficult to actually find something to write. This post will not have to do with EFL teaching. It has to do with my feelings and my enthusiasm as a teacher and also how I get to make a difficult choice...
Story goes like this:
A couple of months ago I got to have a dream come true. I was talking to the people in charge at the gym and realizing the love I had, they gave me their permission to instruct my own spin class. I offered to do this voluntarily, because I needed the practice, in order to prepare for the instructing certification exam, which I intend to do this year.
I didn't get in to the official gym schedule, I had to promote my class myself (and with the help of my friend-instructors) and after two months, I got to have my loyal "audience"
Creating the choreography on the bike, choosing my own music, deciding on what to to say is actually something I enjoy very much and in order to make myself better, I also get help by an experienced instructor, kind of a seminar-lesson.
So what is the difficult choice, you will tell me...
Well, although I got permission from the people in charge, nobody actually came to see what I am doing. Yes, people like it, yes, I have a full class, but they people who were supposed to come see me, have not actually done it.
It's not that I actually want to get paid, I don't think that an hour's pay will compensate the work and the time and the effort I make. I just wanted some feedback. Not from my instructor (it's his job). Somebody should actually tell me if they like what I am doing or not. If they want it to continue or not.
And I really feel let down because I am giving all of my energy to do this and nobody actually cares. It's as if they are doing me a favour.
So.... I have decided to quit. And that's the difficult decision I got to make.
It is going to be really hard for me, I am going to miss it because it is something I LOVE.
Next week is going to be my last class. I have not announced it to them yet, it will be a surprise.
Do you think I am doing the right thing?
I'd love to hear your opinion, as teachers, as employees, as employers...


Hana Tichá said...

Dear Theodora,
I totally understand how you feel because the situation you describe reminds me of something I myself experienced a few times as a student - the feeling of never getting any feedback. Once I worked really hard, for hours and days to write an essay on a difficult, political topic. This happened at the end of the semester and the teacher, and Englishman, decided to leave for England. We never saw him or our essays any more. I got a C without a single word of feedback. I suspect that he didn't even read our work and just randomly chose the marks. That's why I know how important feedback is and how desperately students want to get it. However, I don't think you should give up so easily. It's not like you anyway :-)I believe that the people in your class will want you to continue and they will tell you - and that will be the most genuine feedback you can ever get!

Georgia Psarra said...

Dear Theodora,

I totally agree with Hana. You shouldn't give up. As you said, there are people showing up in your class every Tuesday. They are your feedback. As for the instructors, it is complete unprofessional from their part. After all, it is their responsibility to supervise whether safety precautions are kept. I am not saying that you don't!!! I am absolutely sure that you do! But shouldn't they at least check on it??? It is as if I give a teacher the coursebook, put them in the classroom and leave them on their own...

Theodora Pap said...

Thank you girls for your support, but I don't think that it would mean anything if I continued this class! I will keep having the instructing lessons with my trainer, though. I want to get better at this!