This is hard…

This semester is hard. I’m not really sure if it is the circumstances or just me, but so far it has been a challenge.

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[7:30 am and my students are like…]

I have a beginner class with 45 students on the attendance list. 1/3 of them are repeating the semester and come to class with their already completed textbooks, which they allow others to copy from. There are at least 2 that can’t read or write their own names and a small handful who belong in a slightly higher level class. I spend a lot of my time thinking about how I want them to learn, but I’m usually not so sure how to actually facilitate that learning.

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[When I turn around after writing on the board..]

I enter the class before 7:30 am with a smile hoping that somehow the day will be different. So far everyday has been the same. I try to teach them. For a week I take it slow constantly repeating and practicing the language points, but nothing seems to stick.

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[When students pretend they are working]

Two days ago I asked one of the assessment coordinators to send an Arabic speaker to the class to explain the process of an ongoing project that needs to be completed with this class because after a week of my own explanations (English and Arabic) the students still didn’t have a clue. I didn’t feel so bad when I heard them talking with one another after my colleague left the room. They were still asking questions like “What do we need to do?” and “What is this project about?”

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[When I ask the students to complete a task…]

At this point I guess I just need to laugh it off and just continue doing the best that I can. I’ll get through this semester and God willing these students will have learned something from this class.

“To teach is to learn twice”

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The good this is that I know I can do this. I know I can manage. I know that I’ll be a better teacher after this semester. ان شاء الله

Thanks be to God for this challenge. Thanks be to God for this reminder. Thanks be to God for this lesson. Thanks be to God for every situation.

الحمدلله على كل حال


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