The Battle Of Teaching Hill

Some say it began in the spring of 2012. Others say it wasn’t until late fall of 2013. In my opinion, The Battle of Teaching Hill began in May 2012. It was a year of struggling through the local children of Surat Thani, Thailand. Like any battle, there were bad days and worse days. It wasn’t always peaches and cream… oh wait, there were no peaches or cream in Thailand. But the battle wasn’t always Teacher vs Student. It was often just Teacher vs Teacher. The students are kids. They want to have fun, they want to play, and they definitely don’t want to learn English. They want hugs and smiles. But I’m not that kind of person. I don’t give in to their germs and tears. I may have been affectionate once, but since I started teaching (and probably long before that) I lost it.

Fast forward to 2015. I’m on year 3 of teaching (year 1 – Thailand, year 2 – Korea, year 2 – Korea). . and I have still very little affection for these kids. I have so little patience. I thought that by becoming a teacher, I would learn the valuable skill and art of patience. But alas, I have not. My patience excels in some areas, but when it comes to children learning English – – for some reason, it flees.

The Battle of Teaching Hill is an internal struggle. Unfortunately for the students, it occasionally ends up involving them. I know better. I truly do. I know I need to smile more and laugh. I know I need to breathe and just continue the lesson. But I lose it sometimes. Yesterday I got so mad at a student who didn’t do his homework because he had 15 minutes before and during class to do it and he just sat there. And it was easy homework. REALLY REALLY easy. Literally – it was a maze. I threw my red pen down and kicked it until it came apart. Obviously there are some anger issues. Perhaps I was just really tired from a week of cooking non-stop. Maybe it’s also my built up frustration of this student behaving like this several times a month.

Whatever it is, it’s not meant to be in a classroom. I need to get over it. But I’m not doing a great job of that. Am I good teacher? I don’t know. The students learn a lot from me because I don’t sit here playing Bingo every day.. but does it matter? Will it make a difference? I don’t know. I don’t think so. This is my last year teaching kids. If I decide to teach again, it will have to be adults and I will need to leave Asia. This is my Declaration of InterPatience.

I have 7 more months of fighting this Battle. Let’s hope I don’t wave the white flag or get shot.

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