Friday, January 13, 2012

What's Your Pleasure?

One thing for sure: people who choose to teach English as a Second or Foreign Language don't do it for the big bucks.  The motivation may be different for different people, but whatever it is -- it ain't the money!

Courtesy of Steven Depolo
I bring this up because sometimes I get home after a lesson and I'm so jazzed that it's hard to do anything functional for a while. Here are some examples of what I mean. They may seem kinda small, but they're better than big bucks to me:

  • When a three hour lesson gets to the last 5 minutes and students aren't ready to call it quits -- they keep going, in English, while I pack up my stuff.
  • When someone gets up, unbidden, and goes to the board to draw a map or diagram or whatever to illustrate whatever it is that he or she is trying to explain.
  • When I see two or three students standing in a group after a lesson has ended and they're exchanging information with each other (giving advice or recommendations about a local shop or service, etc.) ... in English.
  • When someone makes a joke in English and everyone else laughs.
  • When someone brings something in to the classroom because they noticed that it had something to do with a recent lesson.
  • When someone speaks up assertively about something I could do better.  (Yeah, I cringe.  But they're almost always right, it makes me a better teacher, and it means they might do the same outside the classroom.)
  • When someone self-corrects on a form from several lessons ago.
  •  When someone who has been generally quiet begins to participate more actively and seems to be having fun.
  • When someone exclaims after a lesson, "That was a good class!"

What little things delight you about teaching English?


  1. All very nice.

    When I present my materials to classes, I love it when the teachers and assistants who have been watching comment on the positive contributions and involvement of children who can often be less involved. Like you, they are glowing.

  2. Yes, it's nice to see success reflected in the faces of others!