Sunday, June 03, 2007

Teaching Values, Unconsciously!
When one of my students wrote to me saying, "You taught me never to give up", I paused for seconds and asked myself," Did I really taught him that?
When another student wrote to me saying,"I want to re-join the Internet group Please teacher give me another chance to show you I am a good student". I paused. Why does she care to prove it?
When another one whispered about a secret poem he wrote in high school and I hoorayed loudly, he raised his voice asking if he could publish it with a short story on a blog. He did! He wrote back addressing me as his favorite teacher in the university. When a student sent me a card on Valentine day, I cried, because she said that it was her first time to know, from me, that Valentine day is not only a day for lovers, but it is a day to tell whom you love that you do love them( this what I told them in class).
When one of the students thanked me for putting him back to "his" group(authentic translation),I knew he would have never thought I would read his blog entries. But I did!
All the above were not to compare to what happened today..
While I was up to my ears, rehearsing and preparing, throwing like tons of sheets of papers, my husband called me to answer a telephone call on his mobile( I wonder from where did my they get his number!).It was one of my students. He told me the names of four of his colleagues.They were with him telling him what to say sometimes when he paused. This what he said:" We need to know why did you resign and leave the university?" We have been waiting all day in front of the Dean's office to ask about you and to ask about the problems you are having with the university.", "Are you coming to tomorrow's lecture?", "If you will, we want you to come with your 'dignity'( big word, ha?)," If you will not come, we have decided not to attend any lectures". We will go into a strike."
I began to explain that I have solved all my problems and they were not with the college. He sounded ready to go to where the problems were!!(Good Idea!), but I asked him about the resource who told him all these information. He would not tell. He kept on asking more questions to make sure of my coming tomorrow.
End of the story!
What exactly did I teach them, apart of teaching them General English, ESP and about love, dignity, life, that each one of them is so special, about the importance of being proud of their own culture, identity, responsibility, studying hard, respecting each other and saying " thank you" all the time???
I guess I have done well!
Thank you my dearest students, who may not have the chance to read this.
I love you all!


Cris said...

Dear Hala, do you know why they care so much? It is because you care too!

Paula Ferreira da Silva said...

Dear Hala,
we think our students don't pay attention to what we say, but the truth is quite different. And I think they keep telling they are bored, and stuff, but they don't really like a teacher who doesn't care. They want to learn. And they want to grow up. And I believe that's the greatest purpose of education - making students skillfull and wise.
Love your blog.
Best regards
Paula Ferreira

Randa said...

Dear Hala,
I am really touched, guess why I had tears in my eyes.

What makes us teachers, is not really the subject we teach, but it is teaching life skills, how to get on in life. Students feel that and thus their response. don't you think??

Anonymous said...

Hi Hala,
I think the nicest thing we can do in life is to help people grow. I believe teachers have this opportunity every single day and you have been making good use of the ones that come up!
I think it is even better when someone shows us that we really make a difference!
Doris Soares-Brazil

Illya said...

Dear Hala
I'm so glad Cris let the cat out of the bag.
I think you speak from many people's hearts. It is this feeling of having made some small difference to another person's life that is one of the most touching and gratifying feelings. Without this our jobs as teachers and educators would be an empty one, lifeless and dull.
You blog is sooo beautiful!

rddietrich said...

I loved your post.

Students know when teachers/educators really "care" about them, the student, as an individual. Caring crosses all barriers (age, religion, race, etc). The student will then, in turn (and in time) become a caring person.

Thank you for caring about your students, you help to make the world a better place.

Beijinhos from Portugal,


Nina Lyulkun said...

Dear Hala,

I am also thankful to Cristina for letting us read your sincere thoughts which touch everyone who ever come across you as a friend.
People say that beautiful people attract beautiful ones - I do hope to belong to your surrounding.
I completely agree with the comments left by our dear friends here - Illya, Doris, Randa, Paula, Cris who expressed their gratitude and big love to you.

Let your students stay happy with your care and love that you pay to them.

{{{{BIG HUG}}}}

Cheryl Oakes said...

Dearest Hala,
Thank you for sharing your wonderful blog. We have much to learn from our students and your blog is a reminder to us all.
Cheryl Oakes, USA

Elena Nikolaenko (PhD Linguistics) said...

Dear Hala!

The experience you are writing about should become a rule and good tradition for all the Teachers!
Unfortunately, there are many who just make students cram and keep them within some distance and are never on the students' wave. I am so sad to see how it makes the students sad, depressed, unmotivated not to say embittered and indifferent.

You know I found the book quite recently while preparing for my uni classes and decided that we should by all means read at least something from it together with the students. This book is

Craftsmanship in Teaching
by William Chandler Bagley

Just one statement of many that I liked:

"But the cynic forgets that there are some people who never lose their
illusions,--some men and women who are always young,--and, whatever may
be the type of men and women that other callings and professions desire
to enroll in their service, this is the type that education needs."

And also when we were finishing the topic "Schooling. Education" we watched a very instructive film - "The Emperor's Club". Really the film to watch to see what a Real Teacher should be like.

Thank you much indeed for sharing you ideas. It's such a comfort to know there are people who care and never lose illusions!

Claudia Ceraso said...

Dear Hala,

You are so involved and committed to your task. That makes students focus on whatever learning challenge there is ahead of them. It's true, it's hard to say one "teaches" them the things they say they learn from us. However, the attitude to learning has been modeled by the teacher.

To teach is to touch a life forever they say... I bet you did!

Teresa said...

Dear Halinha
During your last rehearsal (June 4), listening to you tell Cristina and me one of the stories that is in this post made my evening (June 4). You truly deserve all the admiration and love the students have for you, because you're beautiful inside and out. So how could it be any other way?!
Wishing you all the best, always!
Beijinhos, Teresinha

Susana Canelo said...

Dear Hala:
I think you really deserve your students' love.
You're touching their lives and they feel they need you.Tears flooded my eyes when they tried to defend you against all the troubles you had just solved by yourself. Maybe that day your pile of worksheets looked lighter . Don't you think?
Hugs and admiration from Del Valle in Argentina