Thinking/speaking/writing in superlatives is a habit that I should maybe try to break, but at the end of a school year, it could be fitting to remember some of the best and worst moments of the year. Besides, an English teacher who teaches comparatives should be allowed to use superlatives now and then.
- The evening 3 teen boys came for a lesson expecting a man teacher, not a girl who looked to them like a nun. They reacted by giggling uncontrollably but ended up being good students while they lasted.
- The Business English lesson that I’d valiantly tried to prepare but in class I realized that I hadn’t understood the material after all. I choked down the panic and guided the discussion to something I could talk about, which didn’t include loans and banks.
- The lady who spent most of the lesson talking about her problems after her baby died. She threw her arms around me twice as we said goodbye for the summer.
- Licking cones with two 12-yr old girls who said they like these classes and want to come back next year. Yes, dearies, I like these lessons too— particularly the ones with ice cream in them.
- The student friend who texted “I want to come kiss you before the summer break. When are you at school?”
- Holding the 7 yr old on my lap for an Amelia Bedelia story, and hearing her giggles at all the right times.
- Rollicking laughter during the first lesson with a girl who could be a model. I asked her why she wants to go to Italy. “Because the men are so beauuuuuutiful! What’s the word for joke? It’s a good joke!”
You don’t get the dialague unless you’re used to hearing conversations with people whose English is their second language. But simple language and laughter helps recharge my batteries and make me ready for the next day’s lessons.
I’m endlessly thankful that the best teaching moments far out-number the worst ones. I’m tired now. My brain is barely functional. But I have every reason to expect that come September, I’ll be ready to give my students everything I have. Which means I give them more than words. I give them my heart. Big chunks of it. Maybe that’s partly why I’m tired.
Time to go find my heart.