Blida Department of English: Free Stand to Stand Free
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What happened today !

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What happened today !

Post by sassy86 on Wed Sep 19, 2012 7:14 pm

Hi mates ! I had this idea of devoting this post to our daily experiences as teachers. We may tell some anecdotes or even some problems we're facing with students, or teaching ...etc Anything! And we will discuss that together. Hope you'll like the idea. Don't worry I'll be right back to post, I'm full of stories Very Happy
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Re: What happened today !

Post by sabine on Wed Sep 19, 2012 7:24 pm

that's nice dear Razz I don't have any experience yet but I really want to know about yours
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Re: What happened today !

Post by sassy86 on Mon Sep 24, 2012 6:33 pm

Glad you love it my dear <3

So, here I am today with two stories.
First, as teachers -and since we are human beings- it is possible that we like certain students (I said like NOT love or prefer). I insist right from the beginning that prefer is the most dangerous among these words!
The attitude I hate most about these students who think that because they are smart, sweet, and so devoted to us -their teachers-, the teacher will be more tolerant with them than their classmates. And the problem is we can't blame them they are pretty sure we like them more than the others because of these qualities.

There is this student of mine, she is SO brilliant and so sweet and who happens to be so talkative as well (her only defect Rolling Eyes Mine too I know Very Happy)
So as I am teaching I don't really tolerate noise (there is a minimum and when students exceed it I have to say 'ENOUGH!' at a given point)
I looked at her several times so as she would understand that she is disturbing the lesson but she obviously didn't get the message and she went on talking and talking. So I had to address her directly in the same way I do for the others saying 'that's enough, don't talk when I'm explaining. If this is not interesting then there are people who are interested'.
The girl was hurt I really could feel it. But I carried on and when I gave them an activity I think she thought that I'm angry and that I'm not going to correct her where she is sitting as I always do with her and everybody who has finished. So I went to her (though she didn't ask for my correction). I guess I just wanted to tell her that even if I get angry at something, this doesn't mean I hate you or that I will never ever talk to you again. It's just for your own good and for the class too.
She came to me at the end of the session, said she's sorry and that she didn't expect me to get angry at her since I know how much she loves English and my lessons. Wow, 'love' is a big word people should rarely use it, it's so confusing.
I don't love students, I just like them. I don't prefer any of them even those who are brilliant because if I do it would be so unfair. It would be SO unfair not to love those who are not clever and don't like English.

I may have seemed cold to her when I replied :'love has nothing to do with that, it's all about conformity and respect and that's the most important thing'.

Maybe I messed it all up (I feel bad) I should have been less distant but I don't want the other students to think that I prefer her because she's always participating and kind to me that I let her do whatever she wants in the class.

What do you think guys of all this??

I'll continue tomorrow inchaAllah, there is a much more complicated problem with another student.
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Re: What happened today !

Post by sabine on Mon Sep 24, 2012 7:40 pm

That's great sassy! Smile your reaction shows your fairness (you don't want that your students feel you PREFER the most brilliant and be tolerate them. that's fair), kindness (you have shown her what was her mistake with all kindness without hurting her) and even cleverness in controlling your class . You have just done the right thing dear . you've shown your students that may be you like the brilliant ones a bit more but this doesn't mean you let them do whatever they want. You like them more because they show their interest towards your course +they are active and this has nothing to do with LOVE and HATE. the teacher is not there to love or hate (we're human beings. Honestly, we may prefer some chuchoT )
You're a good teacher my friend Razz
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Re: What happened today !

Post by sassy86 on Mon Sep 24, 2012 8:53 pm

You're so sweet my lovely Sabine <3 Embarassed I just hope I didn't hurt her (and even when I do believe me I try to catch up and arrange the situation).
But it's so hard because I know what people may think. There is another excellent student of 2 year class foreigh languages, she told me :"you know Miss, I really used to love English but my English teacher used to be so jealous of me and she hated me and never gave me the marks I deserve". So you see, if you are severe (or rather strict Wink ) with a good student he or she would think you're jealous of her and if you let go things others will say :'Oh she loves her, she prefers her' Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Can't wait to tell you about another story. This one is really 'disgusting me' No

There is this other student (the son of a colleague of mine), he has just joined the class. (Today was his first day with us).
I arrived to the class and he came to me and said :'Miss, I told my mum to tell the other teachers to make me sit in the front because I can't see and the teacher of Maths made me sit in the front but now this boy refuses to leave the place to me' WOW what is this??!! No
I looked to the other student (who was here since 3 weeks!). He looked at me and said :'Miss, I was here before him it's not fair'.
Oh my God, he looked as if he was telling me :' please do me justice!'

All the other students were looking at me and waiting for my reaction: 'is she going to make the other sit at his place just because he is the son of a teacher??'

You know, I'm a new teacher I don't want problems but then I thought 'Yeah I'm a new teacher ! Who cares !' I told him, 'I'm sorry it's his place, you have just arrived'. The other guy was so happy and that's fair enough.

The mother of the other student (my colleague) came to me insisting asking me to change him the place. Though she's old, and I do respect her for that but I can't coz I know I'll lose my students' trust.

OUFFFF sorry guys if I'm tiring you coz i'm sooooooooooooo sick of this. Teaching is a daily battle. No
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Re: What happened today !

Post by Londonhbb on Wed Oct 03, 2012 6:53 pm

Sassy86. Simply, u can talk to the insisting student outside abt the matter. Try to explain that the teacher's son has vision problem. I'm sure, he can understand.

My story or my problem is the fact of laughing out loud. My God! I have students whom I consider very funny but polite. The problem is within me. Whenever that say sth funny, I explode laughing. This didn't happen to me when I was teaching at univ.Yet, Lycee students are so energetic and funnier. Today, a girl had a headache, so I told her classmate to go with her outside to wash her face nd drink some water. When the patient's classmate came back. Someone told her" HI OUR DOCTOR!" lol! . I exploded laughing and lost control of class. Any solution mates Embarassed
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Re: What happened today !

Post by sassy86 on Wed Oct 03, 2012 9:23 pm

I'll try that london, you're right coz it's better to avoid conflicts.

Oh my God ! A funny class with a funny teacher! Why not?! Teachers aren't supposed to be rigid all the time. The teacher can be funny or even crazy at times (like me Razz) and have a perfect control on his or her class.

It's all about your personality! Don't fight what you are and don't change. Students are smart and detect it if you are 'fake'.
When I started teaching at the secondary school few weeks ago I thought: 'Ok, I'm funny and crazy at times but I can't show them this right from the beginning! It's inappropriate to do that with people who don't know you and you don't know' So I knew I had to put on a serious face (but a moderate one) and once I've established disicpline in class, I'll be the sassy girl Razz

I think they hated the rigid me at a given point, and this created what can be termed only in Arabic جو مكهرب in class.
Here I knew it was enough and they got the message about discipline and it was time to show them the other side of the serious teacher, 'the funny side'.
So now they know that I can laugh at their funny gestures but I can also be severe when I want Wink Now even the disturbing ones have great pleasure in learning.

London, what happened IS funny and anyone would have laughed ( the students, and even you !)

Don't put too much boundaries between you and your students, they have to know you're a NORMAL person and not an ALIEN cyclops Believe me all students think their teachers are aliens Very Happy

But the moment they know you've something in you which is similar to them they feel they can refer to you in their experiences and they will wish to resemble you (you will become a role model for them) . An original model though Razz
Sometimes, I open the brackets and tell them about funny mistakes and stupidities (in learning of course) that I've done when I was student like them (It's important for them to refer to you when you were their age).
I teach with anecdotes (the best way of keeping their memories alive) and anecdotes are supposed to be funny. If they laugh I can't blame them!


BY THE WAY,
I remembered you this afternoon!!! I was teaching them writing an e-mail and they were supposed to write their mail addresses. So someone said SofianeFCB ...etc! I told him :'Yeah !!! That's it bro!! Viva Barcelona . And for the REAL supporters you would better zip it or I send you OUT lol! ' They all exploded laughing HAHAHAHA
But when I say 'okay okay, let's get back to work' they all magically zip it LOL or they go out heheheheh
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Re: What happened today !

Post by Londonhbb on Wed Oct 03, 2012 9:33 pm

True what u have said. Yet, Lycee students are very funny. I can't resist their humor. By the way, Real Madrid is playing after some minutes. On Sunday, they will laugh at u Sassy. Keep an eye to El Grand Classico. Twisted Evil
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Re: What happened today !

Post by sassy86 on Wed Oct 03, 2012 10:05 pm

Hahahahaha We'll see, we'll beat you to death and this para siempre mi amigo Twisted Evil
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Re: What happened today !

Post by wonderland20 on Wed Oct 03, 2012 11:56 pm

Hi mates.
Londhobb, what happened with you is very normal and expected so no need to worry. Wait till you try to put that serious face and try to act mad at them and then suddenly you burst into laughter or smile. Mad
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Re: What happened today !

Post by sassy86 on Sun Oct 07, 2012 9:50 pm

Hey guys !!! Very Happy Here I am with some new stories, these are SOOOO romantic (or PATHETIC if you want )

Anyways, I just want to say that most of my students seem to be IN LOVE !! YES, in love affraid
They don't eat, they think a lot, they even cry !!!


And because I am naturally "open-minded", I have to understand and see what can be done HAHAHA But why do I have to be comprehensive with all people I meet, why not just doing this or this WAKE UP PEOPLE !!!!!!!!!!!!

Ok, I feel better now lol!


So I have a student (our cute Salah Adine Very Happy) who is madly and desperately in love with a girl from another class.
When I started teaching him, he seem SO SAD all
the time (He would always sit ALONE though his mates are so friendly, he would not make any noise or disturb me but he would always
put his head on the table and never write a single word or paticipate).
I guess because I was kind to him and always asking him :' Please Salah
Adine write ! Please Salah Adine participate! Salah Adine are you ok??
Are you ill?? Would you please go to the board and write this for me'
Anyways, I used all kind of "bribery" scratch He would participate just to please me, but I could feel there was a deep sadness over there.
One day after the session has finished, everybody left and I was arranging my things, his head was on the table and I heard him cry. YES ladies and gentlemen CRY ??!!! No

I went to him, the moment I said 'what is it Salah??' He exploded!
I asked him to tell me if he had some problems ' is it something about health?? Is it a problem in your family??' He said 'I can't tell you Miss'. I said :'Don't you trust me?! You know I care for you'. He said: 'Yes, Miss I know and I appreciate it' and then he promissed me to tell me everything when he will be ready. I asked him if he wanted to have lunch, if I shall bring him anything from the canteen, he said he never goes with his friends, he would stay here but someone shall bring him something.

I was devastated, I really felt sorry for the guy. At the moment, I thought: 'I'm sure, his parents are going through a divorce. what else can it be?!! A man would cry only for this reason, for his mom or dad! No?!

Another day, he cried again after the class left, I went to him and I saw a RING on his left hand I just said: 'Don't tell me it's about a girl Salah?!!!' He said: 'Yes it's a girl'. Good LORD! (nandab à carreau LOL As I often say to my students lol! )

I said : 'And what's the matter with this?!'. He said:' Her parents want to marry her to someone by force' WOUHOUUUUU worse and worse!!!

I didn't know what to say for some minutes, then I said: 'well it's nothing serious, I don't think it's that bad, I'm sure it will be okay. Besides, you're still young and as we grow, our perception of things changes and people change too.....' I don't think he got the meaning of the last sentence but....

WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON WITH THESE STUDENTS??!!! I'm not saying they can't be in love at this age or that it won't last (though I'm sure it will never lead anywhere!)

He would often cry for A GIRL???!!!! And I thought it was about him MOM ???!!!! Would he cry if it was about his parents???!!!!
Sometimes, I'm SO naive ! Let's say ALWAYS !

I'm sorry guys, if I no longer think his case is worth dealing with (though I always ask him if he is ok and smile and encourage him to participate and try to make him laugh)

Today, he lost consciousness. I called the doctor of the school, she said he doesn't have anything. I don't know if this is some kind of drama or .....?????

Anyways, I generally don't watch any Turkish romantic series but for those who want to watch join my class !! cheers

What do you think guys??
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Re: What happened today !

Post by Londonhbb on Mon Oct 08, 2012 3:40 am

It seems Mohanad is in Algeria. Sassy! try to encourage him. He's over sensitive. Don't let anyone to embarrass him. That's concerning Didactics side. By the way, don't go so far with ur students. Let personal stories and problems at a far corner. Teachers r not babysitters after all euh22
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Re: What happened today !

Post by sassy86 on Mon Oct 08, 2012 6:42 pm

Hi london. I guess you're more than right ! It's too hard to care for a student (for his future and studies I mean) and put a limit when he or she is crying. They might think you're too cold and harsh. I'll try to do what you told me (today for example, I told him that I will correct his copy book on Wednesday (just like I did with his mates).
Thank you for reading and offering us clues. Very appreciated Smile
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Re: What happened today !

Post by princess smile24 on Tue Oct 09, 2012 10:33 pm

Well, my problem is totally different. I NEVER can work with NOISE, it really disturbs me and I can't deal with noisy students. so, as a result I try to keep them silent with no success, having troubles with the talkative pupils No ..........do you understand me? what shall I do to have calm and more interested students???????? morpa1
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Re: What happened today !

Post by sassy86 on Wed Oct 10, 2012 5:31 pm

Hey girl !! We are having the same problem Very Happy I'll tell you how I solved mine Razz

First thing you should know is that there is what I call a minimum noise, you have to learn to tolerate this minimum noise. Students aris going to be boring and be SURE that if students are SO silent it's because they are SO afraid of you -under threat- and thatinside they are really hating your class (which is NOT the aim!!)

The aim is to get an agreeable atmosphere for learning in which students participate and have pleasure learning!

This is how I manage my class:
When I am writing on the board I say :'Please write with me... Please I said 'write' not 'talk'.... Please concentrate on what you're writing, I don't want to see mistakes on the copybook .......enough ...... ENOUGH' You see how it's graded?!

When I ask them do do an activity: Sometimes, it's an individual work so I say 'Please do it alone, learn to rely on yourself'. Sometimes it's a pair work (so they are allowed to talk). My students love pair work activities so much Very Happy

Don't scream!
When a teacher screams, he/she loses all credibility in from of her students (it's like you're showing them that you couldn't control anything and screaming is your last solution. This is bad! You are the 'boss' they have to know this, show them this in a smart way' Wink

Now, in order to avoid this pathetic solution of screaming, and only if the students exceeded the minimum noise on several occasions and after several warnings, you can write a report about the disturbing student (but you have to know that you're not allowed to send them out Evil or Very Mad It's illegal. Never do this )

Believe me teaching is all about patience. You have to learn to tolerate certain things, let them answer all together, there is no problem. I personally love it when they are all answering together, it creates such a cheerful atmosphere in the class Very Happy

Attend your collegues' classes and learn from them, you'll see that they don't comment on everything and everybody who moved. You'll learn what is the minimum noise

Remember when you were a student, were you all the time silent??!! Of course no! (maybe yes Razz lol) They are still young, they want to talk, so just show them there is a time for everything, that there are activities made for that (pair work, group work...etc)
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Re: What happened today !

Post by Londonhbb on Mon Oct 15, 2012 1:12 pm

I have five classrooms. Four are normal and another one is abnormal. My God, they are second year Managment pffffffffff y3ayou. I spent two weeks advising them only about discipline. I wrote reports to their parents. Yet, the administration is not doing its job. Conspiracy deal between administration and these class. So, I gave it up. I told them ALLAH ysahal. What I'm doing is just to write the lesson on the board and work with who wants to learn and let others do whatever they want. I hate myself when I'm going to teach them. My God! It's the first time I observe such a phenomenon. Once I taught a similar classroom, but they wanted to learn, it was only low level. But, this one is low level+ low discipline and even low human figures. When I finish writing the lesson on the board and explaining a little. Always, time went very slow. I simply sit behind the desk to read a novel. I totally hated them and I gave it up . What do u think mates? cou7a
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Re: What happened today !

Post by sassy86 on Mon Oct 15, 2012 7:06 pm

Hi london. I really can imagine how hard it is and I can figure our how many ways have you tried to rationalize them but I'll tell you what I did with a similar class:

* Don't lecture them, they hate it. If you do it, do it in a smart way
:
Don't give them the same speeches they hear from their parents about discipline and studies and life....blah blah blah. Say for example:
'Look guys, today we will study this and this and you know what ? When I was a student at the university we used to do this and that and it was awesome, we've had such an amazing time. InchaAllah you'll all go to the university and see that by yourself....What's wrong with you?! Say inchaAllah!! " They may laugh and say 'ohh...inchaAllah..maybe'
But inside they discovered two things about you: that you care and that you believe in them !
And you'll see that they'll try and maybe even do their best so as not to disappoint you!!

*They are young, they want to dream and English is such a cool language Cool: Concentrate on the word COOL Wink I'll tell you why.

Even if they are scientific stream for example, tell them that when they will be at the university, whatever field they'll follow English is SOOOO important for them and that English is universal !! How is that ?? Well, for two reasons: French is démodé LOL Very Happy and also because nowadays the illiterate person is the one who doesn't know English and computing ...etc

Even during my phonetic lesson, I try to refer to other languages and they really like it (it's so funny when you tell them that English and Arabic are musical languages because they have this intonation and comparing it with Chinesse ...etc) They love anecdotes so much, use them !

* Trust is important: Don't tell them but show them that you are here FOR them and not against them.

I have used all these 'tricks' and more, and guess what? All those students who used to sit at the back and disturb me are using all that energy to participate and they even 'fight' to go to the board and participate.

Finally, TRUST YOURSELF (Before you go there say to yourself
"I'm the boss, I'm in charge. Kayen dispense ghir f sport, makach f l'anglais, donc tout le monde au tableau, tout le monde travail Twisted Evil" )
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Re: What happened today !

Post by Londonhbb on Wed Oct 17, 2012 10:13 pm

Imagine! Today, my hellish students become suddenly quite and participating learners. I was shocked to the extent that one their boss answered my question, I smiled happily and he also did. What a change! I couldn't know the reason, but I think they got jealous from the other classroom whom I'm in love. Teaching adolescents is fun and tiring in the same time.
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Re: What happened today !

Post by sassy86 on Thu Oct 18, 2012 7:45 pm

Hamdoulah!!
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Re: What happened today !

Post by sassy86 on Sun May 19, 2013 11:16 pm

Hey guys. There are two stories that affected me too much lately (I don't feel ok at all and I wanted to open up to you). We let the other story for another day and I'll tell you only one.

I have a student in my second year foreign languages class. The class is a small group of 25 students. I felt so much at ease with them and it was like teaching my friends rather than students. They have been so sweet and mature during the whole year. Even if they all have different personalities but they -if not we- all learned to live together.

I tried to read their personalities, I know almost all their parents. So when there is a problem their parents come and tell me.(like there is one student who takes sleeping drugand his mother told me so that I wouldn't blame him when he is not totally awake in the morning). Some parents are in a divorce procedure, other students are orphans. So I have thought that whatever happens, I know what's happening in their lives and I would know how to teach them (what to do and what to avoid doing).

Anyway, there is this girl who used to be very non sociable, so I pushed her to enter the 'group'. So by and by, she could integrate but she was still a very weak student. She started to befriend some good girls of the class and I saw through the year that she badly influenced them. So these girls tricked me so many times and I had many problems with the administration because of them. For example, they would ask me to go to the toilet and then it was for meeting boys in the corridors.


The problems started when things (money-books-phones) started to disappear. I never ever suspected the girl coz she claimed once that she herself lost a sum of money!

I tried so hard to see how she thinks but she was unreadable! Whenever I was close to her, she would avoid me or turn her eyes.

Last week, the secondary school was upside down! This girl stole her father's money (big sum of money). Her father came with the police. He accused girls from the class of influencing his daughter and encouraging her to steal. Her father looked like a crazy man (I swear to God, he is not normal, and in fact he is unstable). To prove herself innocent, the girl decided to accuse her classmates.


I don't know why but when her father approached me and introduced himself I told him that I had to go for some reason.

When he went away coz the administration told him that they are having exams. The girl came to the staff room and asked if she might enter the class to pass her exam because she was too late. I said that I'll try with the administration. And since I can't keep my mouth shut I asked her why she did that and I faced her and told her that I understand now that she was the one who stole the mobiles and money. She cried and said: "I have to steal to eat coz my father does not allow us me and my sister to approach the kitchen! He married 6 times after my mother died.". She told me other things that I can't really tell you mates, it's so crual and it seemed that many people knew how crual her father was and that she had another sister who was also mentally unstable.

What do you answer to this? I feel bad.

I don't know what to say except that I feel bad and I never imagined that a 17 years old student may have all this to deal with.

Anyway, that's the story.
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Re: What happened today !

Post by Londonhbb on Mon May 20, 2013 2:49 am

Emmmmmmmmm it's a real complicated problem! Professionally speaking, u have no right to comment nor to engage in this problem. When similar problems occur to me, I just say: "It happens, but it hurts".
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Re: What happened today !

Post by sabine on Mon May 20, 2013 11:33 am

OMG she is apparently living a hellish life !!!! the girl's story is very sad and it really hurts. The poor is too young to face such kind of problems! But I do agree with London in that, as a teacher, you don't have to interfere. In the case of engaging yourself in this problem, the girl's father (who's abnormal according to what you've said) will tell you that YOU DO NOT HAVE ANY RIGHT! and that it's a personal problem. You'll change nothing in her situation (perhaps things will get more complicated). I understand you and I also feel so soryy for her, but we're helpless dear!!
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Re: What happened today !

Post by sassy86 on Mon May 20, 2013 2:55 pm

Yes guys, you're totally right. I shouldn't have asked her why she did that. I really hope she might find an escape to the environment she's living in. It's too much to handle for her at this age. Pray for her guys and thank you for the advice and reading me.
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Re: What happened today !

Post by w_ch on Mon May 20, 2013 6:42 pm

What a story. She is going through delicate moments and what adds salt to injury is the fact that no one wants to intervene. The girl is an adolescent and needs to be surrounded by friends and family members. We, as teachers, have a noble task to provide knowledge as well as help whenever it is needed by our students/pupils. I respectfully disagree when you said you shouldn't have said anything. No one wants to get his/her hands dirty, I understand that. Why would you and you have everything one can ask for; a family to return to at the end of the day and friends you hang out with whenever needed.

I once had a student who dropped out of university (she was a med student) just because she suffered from many phobias. The thing is that they were all manageable, but since our society does not tolerate any deficiencies in any sort, she could not cope up with the day-to-day ridiculous remarks she was hearing here and there. She loves studying but had no one to support her doing so. She was once studying in my class and suddenly, she fell down unconscious. After waking her up using some traditional ways ( perfume and stuff like that) she couldn't believe her eyes, she just started crying. There were two options, either to calm her down and just forget what happened, or analyze what she had just went through. I had a chat with her after the class and managed to make her feel better. We had been talking for several months and I could see she was gaining her self-confidence back. She now has a job and several friends and we are still in contact.

Now, I know that dealing with teens is way too difficult than with adults. But, every word you say, every step you take and every action you make matters for the student/pupil even if it is not going to change their lives.
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w_ch

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Re: What happened today !

Post by sassy86 on Mon May 20, 2013 7:05 pm

Thank you so much w-ch for your reply. Believe me I do have chats with my students and their parents and as I told you I know almost everything that is happening in their lives but I am often blamed by colleagues and so on that I am always too personal with them and can't separate job and feelings. I once cried in front of my students because a student cried. I didn't feel ashamed that moment coz I'm not afraid of showing my emotions but the class were a bit shocked to see me that way. I am this way and I couldn't change it.
The head teacher told me that he liked it the way I am with my students that it is not all about teaching but وزارة التربية و التعليم

I regret having asked her coz I first feel like I know about problems that I can't even help her. What should I tell her? I also don't know if to trust her coz she is really unreadable. She likes hurting her mates coz I was told one day that when someone suffers a lot s/he would revenge from all society.

I am always in a dilema coz I myself as a teacher can't find my own place and I'm always blamed by teachers when they know for example that such and such students have my phone number or that I went out with a group of students to have lunch.

Getting back to this girl, all I could do was talking to her mates so that they would forgive her and stop insulting her whenever she comes. I told them that she had a lot of pressures and that they shouldn't add salt to the injury as you said. Should I do more? Talk to her again?
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sassy86

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Re: What happened today !

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