I have good students. I actually
have wonderful students. Not only are they clever, they are also well-behaved
and nice. Obviously, there are some that are occasionally disruptive, but
that's ok. They mean well; they are excited about something so they giggle and
chat when they shouldn't. They are also forgetful but that's natural; I also
forget about things that are not too important for me. And it’s not just their fault
that something seems unimportant to them.
I always shudder
when I hear stories of students who send their teachers to hell. It's hard to
believe that the only thing the teacher can do is survive the lesson. I hear
stories of students who put their feet on the desks, sleep or even smoke grass
(if they ever come to school). They are rude or refuse to do anything at all.
I'm lucky. I've
never had such students and I've never actually seen a class like that. But I
have friends who go through this every day. It would kill me if I couldn't do
what I love; if I couldn't experiment, explore and pass on my passion. You can
only teach English or any subject to kids who listen and pay attention. There's
no point in talking about the best way the present perfect is learnt in a class
where the kids don't care.
So I should be
grateful because my students enable me to live my life happily. They allow me
to fulfil my dreams. Although I sometimes forget how lucky I am and I start
complaining, deep inside I know that I'm making a mountain out of a molehill. I
know that instead of grumbling I should be thankful for every single moment I
spend with my classes.
I have another
problem though; most of the time I get too excited about my students and my job
in general. And I'm not sure if it's good to love my job and my students
unconditionally. They're not my own kids after all and I'm not their parent or even a relative. I
need to repeat this over and over again to myself because I don't want to get
hurt and end up bitterly disappointed. Expectations can get too high and any
failure can be taken personally. Burn-out is always imminent.
The truth is that
I've always seen burn-out as an imbalance between output and input - especially
with regard to emotions. If you work too hard and love too much you need
somebody to appreciate it and give something back to you. Whenever I feel I'm
on the verge of self-pity or grievance, I stop and think for a while. And I
usually decide to be happy with what I've got even if it's not what I