Wednesday, July 14, 2010

It's One Thing When You're Here!

As many of you know, I'm back at EF this summer and am (finally) happily teaching Upper Intermediates. Although all my students are Spanish, something which generally poses a problem because such students often speak between themselves in their native tongue, the majority of those that I'm teaching are relatively well-versed in the language and therefore, conversing in English is relatively straightforward with them; this as opposed to last year, when I just had Elementary students - a downright 'mare for someone who struggles to write in simple English, let alone speak it.

Anyway, following last Monday's attempted intimidation/assault/call it what you wish by the hamalla from the depths of God knows where (I still insist, had that bitch or her son/boyfriend/brother/whatever ogre he might have been as much as laid a finger on me, I would have beaten them to a pulp), the last thing I perhaps wanted on a Tuesday morning is school at 8 a.m. Of course, my sleep had been massively disturbed due to this... incident. But yet, I had to live with this, for this is what happened. It's useless crying over spilt milk.

Anyway, all zombified, I walked into class that morning and all was fine. The first lesson actually went to plan and without any hitches. As is the norm with this group of students that I have, they were cooperative and willing to work, and actually seem to enjoy the lessons. Fantastic. However, two particular incidents straight after this lesson (which did not involve my students) - please note that my students' brains were meant to be fully functioning yet mine was still completely... asleep - then jolted me into action for the rest of the day. Perhaps, with hindsight, thank God they occurred!

The first was actually a bit absurd, but I believe that I was in the right. Some idiot was sitting on the porch that leads to the school building and had a tissue in hand. He was wearing a cap and looked like a rapper, with the only difference that he was caucasian - rappers, normally, are not. Anyway, our coolio friend decided that he didn't want to hold the tissue in his hand any longer and threw it into the road. I caught the fool red-handed. Being the dedicated corrector of people that I am employed to be, I decided to approach this student and told him that he had thrown the tissue onto the pavement. He vehemently disagreed with me, protesting his case in a not too dissimilar manner to a chihuahua. Seeing his non-compliance with my telling him that that he did, I ordered that he go and pick up the tissue. The student once again refused, and actually told me to tell him to 'say please' (yes, I quote). Say please? Bloody hell, I'm a teacher and he's a student; if I told him to pick up the wretched tissue because he actually threw it on the floor, then he sure is going to pick it up! Eventually, after I showed him that I wasn't going to budge and that I was boss here, he got off the porch, picked it up and threw it in the bin in a similar way to how Joris Mathijsen slammed a football into the ground after disapproving of a decision made by the referee in the World Cup Final last Sunday; this to the tune of me telling the student, "We do not litter our country!" Well, we do, but I can't accept these tourists doing so - they can do what they wish in Spain, but here, it's another thing altogether.

If the first incident perhaps merited attention and me remembering what happened, the second incident, which occurred straight after the break finished, was just plain farcical. Some student came to school - he must have been drunk - at half past 9, when in reality, his lesson was at half past 4 in the afternoon. It transpired that he thought that yesterday was Wednesday. Anyway, our friend found me and asked where his lesson was, and I kindly indicated that it's in the afternoon. Fine. He then asked if I was his teacher, even though his sheet said "Michelle Borg" on it and did not indicate my name. Yet again, I replied that I wasn't his teacher. The boy kept on insisting that I was his teacher, and I told him that Michelle is a girl's name. I then asked him whether I looked like a female or not to him - you know; shaved hair, growing stubble, deep voice... these characteristics should have all given it away. In truly idiotic fashion, this student replied in the affirmative and said that I WAS a female. (I hate using 'emoticons' in blogs, but this really merits a '-_-'... big time.) I was shocked that he did not know/notice the difference between a man and a woman. And please note, the reason why I was shocked was because his timetable indicated that he was an Intermediate student!! Someone, evidently, guessed his way through the placement test...

Oh well, any other crazy adventures from work will be posted here in due course! What a wacky world us teachers have to put up with...

God Bless You All!


Bahsheep said...

I don't think it would have hurt to say please. Sure he was being disrespectful to you by asking you to say please, but don't you prefer being told to do something in a manner that is not condescending?

Matti said...

To be very honest, the chappie should have just not argued in the first place with me. That alone showed disrespect. Trying to 'humiliate' the teacher is also something unacceptable; perhaps unfortunately, to make sure things go right, you need to give these students a taste of their own medicine.

I hate being the villain but I don't really think that there was much of a choice here. Telling him 'please' after he told me to say so would have made my position look 'weak' and as if I had something to 'bargain' with him.