Image courtesy of Butupa
It’s been an interesting day. Actually, it’s been an interesting couple of weeks. About two weeks ago, I took on an intersession class (one I have never taught before) a day after I had committed to writing the curriculum for a course that is due in a few days. On top of all of that, I have just finished up teaching and marking a TESL course. Needless to say, I’ve been a bit pre-occupied.
All of that sets up what transpired this morning. Continue reading Apologizing
Image courtesy of Brian Smithson
Normally I have a short little story to start off my post, but I am afraid I am at a loss for words on this one. Everything I come up with is either too trite or doesn’t fit the scope of the issue. I guess the only thing I can do is to jump right in.
I have been watching with interest and sadness the events unfolding in Israel and Gaza along with Russia and Ukraine. Go back twenty years ago or more and most of the conversation regarding these events would be limited to what we received from the media and then discussed with our friends and family. With the advent of social media, especially Twitter, the information flows from various sources and our conversation has grown to include total strangers from all over the world. What is amazing to me is how quickly judgements have been made regarding which ‘side’ to choose in either conflict. For some it seems, these decisions are made with limited information which has not been verified. This is then propagated through retweets and reposts while the details are still scarce. It may be that that photo, video, or quote might be true, but in this age desperately in need of patience, there is a sore lack of it. Continue reading Siding
Image courtesy of Quinn Dombrowski
Here I was, a young, eager English teacher fresh out of college standing in front of a group of students at a business college in Lithuania. We had been together for 3 months and now the time had arrived for me to hand out my first exam as a language instructor. I had been warned that Lithuanians were masters in the ‘art’ of cheating (obviously a major generalization that comes from a negative cultural attitude) so I was prepared to not be ‘outsmarted’ by my students. It was me against them and I was ready to show them who was boss. The exam was carried out in the evening and with the bright lights in the room along with the darkness outside, I planned on using the reflection in the window as my secret weapon. And it worked. I managed to catch a woman redhanded as she pulled out a cheat sheet as my back was turned. I bolted over and grabbed her exam and told her to leave immediately. The class was in shock. She started to cry as she ran out of the classroom. In that moment, my heart sank as I realized what I had just done. I felt sick. To be honest, I still feel terrible about it. Sure, she had cheated, but what does that actually mean? What could I have done differently to avoid this situation? How should I have handled that moment to the betterment of the whole class? Continue reading Cheating