Monday, December 26, 2011
I'll miss those SAUDI boys the most!
When I first returned to Canada last year I was lucky to get a position teaching ESL at the university. After teaching in Seoul, South Korea for over 5 years I got accustomed to teaching Korean students. I knew how to get them to speak. I knew how to manage a classroom and make them feel comfortable.
Then, I taught my first semester at the university. I recall 1 Saudi student in particular that was particularly challenging for me at the time. I did not know how to react when he challenged me in front of others. I did not know deal with him arriving to class late with a myriad of reasons why he couldn't just be there on time. It was frustrating for me. And for him. And I felt like I wasn't doing a very good job.
Then in my second semester at university after accepting my teaching assignment, I looked at my class list.......ALL SAUDI MEN! I thought it would be the semester from HELL.
I was wrong. I grew to form great relationships with these students. I used laughter as a medium to connect with them. I learned to loosen up a bit with the rules and let them get away with a little more while still holding my ground. They knew the limits. And if they broke them they accepted the consequences. I didn't have a single problem with a single student.
In fact, it turned out to be the BEST class. And later it made me realize how much I enjoy teaching SAUDI men. They are dynamic, energetic, and a really fun group of people.
I have accepted a full-time day position at Regina Open Door Society (albeit, not permanent) which means next semester I will not be teaching at the University of Regina.
And honestly speaking, I WILL MISS MY SAUDI BOYS THE MOST!