Preferring Beginners Part 2

When you see an advanced class on your schedule you flat-out give up before even trying.

I keep harping back to this ridiculous point my former boss made to me, about how more seasoned teachers refer to teach beginner classes. While I agree with it more and more, my conclusion seems to always go back to the fact that we are lazy fuckers. I have no empirical evidence of this, but it seems pretty clear to me that being an ESL teacher is the laziest job in the world short of being a professional internet shitposter. Even third world dictators have to wake up every morning and work hard at terrorizing and psychologically manipulating their populace, which means that I am likely too incompetent to even do Kim Jong Un’s job.

Lately due to an influx of teachers at my center my precious and ridiculously easy beginner classes have been taken away from me. Beginner classes are meant to be the responsibility of the local teachers, whose English will of course never be perfect, and we foreign teachers are meant to suffer the advanced classes. Normally, this is circumvented by the fact that we have numerous beginners and few advanced students. People high mindedly start learning English, then remember the twin facts that a) learning shit is hard and b) they are fucking lazy, and quickly drop out. This keeps and ever regenerating pool of beginner students and a trickling brook of more advanced ones.

I’d have it no other way. But recently, it seems, I have been screwed out of that.

And so I found myself with another advanced level class. I have come to just expect that I very likely will not be arriving to the final task in these classes and, frankly, I am ok with this. The hard part of doing advanced classes is watching the students flounder and just not be able to get what is going on, with the knowledge that you are just as culpable in their not learning anything. In many respects, it is a lot like watching your students repeatedly slam into a glass wall and fail to understand that they are slamming into a glass wall.

I guess this is all just to say that it might be true that one ends up preferring beginners because they are actually learning something.

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