Wednesday, December 13, 2006

slight return

It was a strange feeling heading back to the old department office on Tuesday. I was uncertain how I would be received should I run into any colleagues or students. I decided to head over at the tail end of the lunch break to grab my belongings that were no longer necessary from my desk.

My colleagues, the two who were in the office at the time, wanted to know how I was doing with the oral English classes. I told them I was bored. They'd missed me the last day and a half in the department. I promised that they could still call me and we could have dinner sometime. I even committed to playing basketball on Fridays with the Chinese staff.

It was then that two of my students came in. One wanted to return the books I had loaned to her. I asked if she had finished Michael Ondaatje, and she replied. "No." I told her to keep it and pass it along to another foriegn teacher when she finished.

The two seemed disappointed that I had left them. I assured them that it was not my decision to leave the section. I would much rather teach their classes. They sort of understood and expressed their distaste for the school administration (things I had heard quite a few times from different students). Even the girl who resisted my lessons on numerous ocassions seemed disappointed about my departure. I guess she must've learned something from me (probably that you can't always get your way with a teacher).

It seemed I had left an impression of sorts on a few students. It did make me feel that my job there wasn’t in vain. But then I thought that unless my replacement continued some of my lessons, it would be useless.

I suppose I should take solace in that some of the tough students who resist my model of education can come away with something.

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