Sunday, August 17, 2014

#30GoalsEDU: Build relationships with them

Pecha Kucha ITDi from Theodora Pap

Working for the ITDi Pecha Kuch I had this particular theme in mind: Relationships with students.
I have had the luck not to work in classes with a large number of students. This means that I get to bond with them more easily, and since we spend a lot of time together, they seem to trust me.
I really love this kind of relationship, because I don't really see myself only as a "teacher".
I mean, yes, I do have a job to actually teach them a language, but I am always there if they have a problem or if they want to share something that made them happy.
I believe in having fun during a lesson. I don't like disciplined kids like soldiers.
Noise is part of the game, especially if it is creative noise.
I believe in movement, in projects, in trips out of the classroom, in being there for them like a parent, like a friend.
I don't like exams. I work towards exams because unfortunately this is the system in Greece. Kids learn a language to take "an exam". This is bothering me...
You should learn to be able to use the language, not in order to pass an exam.
Sometimes parents are not happy with what I am doing. They need the "BOOK". They need the "EXAM". If their kids do not pass the "EXAM" it is always the teacher's fault....
I've had bad relationships with both parents and school owners because of that. 
And I am really sad to see that the kids do not remember the language after a couple of years they have passed the "EXAM" and some parents not talk to me because of the "EXAM" ( no matter if I have managed to get the kids to be interested in the language and actually use it... This is irrelevant)

So over the years, I have had students passing or failing exams, using or not using the language they learned, students that became teachers themselves, students who live abroad....
What I have gained? I have gained new friends and family. I have gained people who remember me as someone being there for them, someone who tried to make them learn something beyond grammar.

I am so happy that some of these kids (who may be adults now) still send me a message to say hi and that I can still see how they are doing in life.

Building relationships with people is what counts in our profession


Marijana said...

Hi Theodora, I agree. But there will always be the same issues with family and school administartion. Of course, what I try to do is both. Build relatinship and work hard. Is it difficult, you bet it is? But is it worth it? Sure is. I also love to hear from now adult students :)

Theodora Pap said...

It is a great feeling hearing news from the kids!! I try to work hard as well... Thank you for your comment

Debbie said...

hi Theodora,
Loved your presentation and thank you for your energy and love seeds you spread in all directions.
I love to see that as we develop to be caring teachers and learners we also expand our "families". Keep going, you are simple awesome!

Theodora Pap said...

Thank you Debbie for always being there for me!