Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Why Am I A Teacher? - Today's Class With Sue

Today is Tuesday, December 11, 2012. I wanted to start the day right. I promised my student who gave me some Korean cosmetics for Christmas the joy of seeing me wearing them. She was pleased to see me when I entered the class today. She even praised me because of the natural look that I had. I was thankful to her not just for her compliments but also because she has always been very kind to me. Her English name is Sue and although her husband is not my student, he has gotten quite familiar with me. Sue is a stay at home mom who used to be a nurse. She has a son in kindergarten and a younger daughter who was only 2 years old. We have a class almost every day. We often talk about her problems and the things that happen to her every day. To her, I am her friend which is why sometimes I think that my class with her is not just an English class but also a consultation. At least that is how her doctor husband sees it.
Our topic for today might sound like a harmless one. I didn't expect it to open age old wounds. Today's topic was about toys and childhood. I merely asked this question: "What was your favorite toy when you were a child?". She told me that she liked her pogo stick as well as her barbie doll. She told me that she had two older sisters who used to go to school while her parents went to work, leaving her behind alone at home. I didn't want to ask more especially after suddenly seeing her crying in front of the camera. I suddenly felt out of focus. What did I do wrong? I didn't want to be out of my composure. My eyes started to water but I tried to keep the tears in. Otherwise, I knew the class would be a goner. I had to save it and most of all, I had to make the student smile once again. Her husband saw her and said we're having a consultation again. Good thing that we were able to talk about something more cheerful afterward.
Honestly, I felt bad for her. She has been my student for 6 months now and she has told me so much about her. She has said to me how bad her childhood was and how poor they were. She told me that her mother used to hit her and her older sisters but she still loves her nonetheless. She told me that she doesn't really have a good relationship with her mother in law but I advised her to work things out. She is a devout Christian and I know that she is a good person who wants the best for her family. Now, that I am at the crossroads of leaving the company, I suddenly feel guilty for her. She is one of the reasons why I am still here. Sue is one of the students that I treasure the most. I am actually hoping to keep in touch with her even when we are no longer having English classes but I know that is an idea that is a bit farfetched at the moment. I am keeping my fingers crossed though that it won't end badly.
Being a teacher needs a heart. This job isn't just about imparting knowledge or using the books that you read for each lesson there. There are also life lessons to be learned and heard of as well. Life lessons are after all more important than anything else. Students like Sue make me love my job more. She makes me realize that there is more to this job than the bad bosses, horrible company reputations, worst policies and so many other corporate negativities. Sadly, I have more students who are like Sue at the moment. I feel bad to leave them behind but somehow I shouldn't feel this way. I am choosing
my future child over my career. This is my path now. Somehow, someway, I just hope that I will still be able to stay in touch with all of them. How? That I don't know. I guess today's inspiring Tuesday isn't exactly something that I have hoped for. I could have wished I didn't make her feel upset but what can I do when all has been said and done.

An emotional class with my student made me feel bad today. I didn't know how to react. I was caught off guard. Luckily, I was able to cheer her up before we ended today's class. Whew! That was close.

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