Friday, May 30, 2014

It's Nice to Know I'm Missed

Last night, the second of the three, tremps or rides, I got to take me home was with a former student from my days of teaching English mostly in the Yeshivat Tichonit Mateh Binyamin in Beit El. I taught boys, since it's a boys school. My glory days were when I had these tiny groups of boys who had only known failure before I got to them. After that it's not that they all became excellent students, but they remember our classes as fun. And many did go on to being better, at least passable English students.

I'm not a really great teacher, but my style seemed to fit these kids, and my flexibility, actually a manifestation of my own ADHD meant that I could easily stop in my tracks and take a completely different direction aka lesson plan when I realized that some or all were lacking in a basic skill or knowledge needed to do what had been planned.

That sort of flexibility is more than crucial when you're teaching, especially when the class is considered "remedial." I'd even have students who were English speakers, but they had never really learned to read and write the language. In many cases it was because they were dyslexic and in other cases it was because their English knowledge made the Elementary school English curriculum so unsuitable for them that they were told not to go to those classes.  But they had a such a sense of humor.

Even some students who had been insufferable in the classroom are now the happiest to see me when we run into each other in various places.

It's hard for them to accept that I left teaching soon after and now I'm working at a low level sales job instead of helping others the way I helped them.  Even those who staff members knew me in those days ask how I could have left teaching. And parents of those students tell me what a great influence I had on their sons.

My specialty was teaching those small groups. I couldn't cope with regular classes and standard curriculum. I needed to do my own thing with lots of independence. My ADHD made it hard to keep on track, so that the "emergency lesson plan changes" were just my speed. That works with six students and not twenty-six or more or even sixteen. At work in the store that "skill" at noticing all sorts of things means that I see a girls size skirt in the women's rack, a man's shirt stuck under the shelves or a clothes hangar on top of the scarves.

It is nice to be missed. My students have gone on with their lives, and I have, too.

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