Over the past two years, I taught a lot of students. I did face to face with high school students, worked in a bilingual primary school, taught a bunch of retired people, started to teach in a business school. I am not entirely confident still, but I am starting to know what is fine by me or not. Before I left for Yale, I started to teach General English to adults here in France. It was face to face, which wasn’t my choice, but it was just for a couple of days. I stopped face to face with high school students last year because I couldn’t cope with it anymore.
After I came back from the US, several adult learners asked me to come back. The first two weeks were fine, the students were well-rested, almost motivated. But rapidly, they cancelled last minute, didn’t show any interest and of course, couldn’t focus more than ten minutes in a row. They were never rude to me, but their minds were clearly off.
Here is my question today, folks: is it okay to just drop it? Can we say, as educators, “I don’t want to waste my time on you, because clearly, you don’t give a crap about me?” Because they don’t, I mean, they waste their time, I waste my time. Why do they want to pay for a face to face class if they don’t want to work?
If a learner isn’t motivated, as a teacher, can we say “I am done?”
Because I am afraid I’ll do so pretty soon. I have realized recently that I wasn’t comfortable with face to face classes anymore. I prefer the thrill of a group, the challenge it can represent. Maybe I am growing up, changing, maybe I am just fed up with unmotivated students.
But how can I say “this is not for me anymore” when the industry is so tough? Who am I to say so?