Waning Willpower

Trip Start Aug 25, 2010
Trip End Jun 29, 2011

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Flag of China  , Jiangsu Sheng,
Tuesday, March 29, 2011

It's getting harder and harder to teach full lessons lately.  I'm starting to feel burnt out.  There are many factors involved, but the biggest problem is that I never wanted to be a teacher long-term.  I figured I could teach two semesters if the trade-off was that I got to be in China, and my initial predictions about how the year would turn out have mostly come true.  I'm enjoying China, but I'm not fully enjoying teaching.  I have a good time with my students when they're interested and participatory, but when they're not, I find it difficult to plod on.

Yesterday, I ended my first class 15 minutes early, my second class 25 minutes early, and my third class 35 minutes early.  The skill level of each class was a little below the one before it, which was to blame for the time discrepancy.  Last semester, I would have found the will to go off-the-cuff and continue teaching until the final bell.  But this semester, I've lost a lot of willpower and it's getting worse by the week.

Another problem is that the university doesn't care what our students learn, or if they learn at all.  Our bosses (take the word loosely) have told us candidly that all they want is for the students to like us.  If the students are happy with us, then the department heads' jobs are easy.  The apathy within the administration trickles down to the students, and admittedly, to me as well.

This is not the nicest thing to say, but I'm sure every teacher has felt it at one time or another:  I wish I could take the students from each class who want to learn and try their best and combine them into two or three classes.  Teaching would be so much more engaging and productive that way.  
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Richard on

Best wishes!!!I'll back you up all the way
You are the best !!!

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