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So Much Money, So Little Ambition

It's a new week and I've got three new one-to-one students, each of them delightful. I guess I'm either really lucky to get so many good students or just haven't been teaching long enough to be jaded by everyone.

The two guys in the afternoon each came to me after working with one of my colleagues. They're fairly low level and I'd been warned by their previous teacher about how difficult they were, and how much stress they were causing said instructor if and when they showed up. Oddly enough, I asked each of them what they wanted out of the class and how I could help them. They seem really happy with what we're doing now and have been showing up right on time. Oh, and they're learning a bit and I can see their self-confidence increasing.

I know I'm sometimes naive, but one has to wonder if it's not better to teach the students what they want to know (functional language, how to get by in situations appropriate to their individual worlds back home, etc.) rather than feed them the rote lessons one's been using for the past fifteen years ... because "that's the way I've always done it and I know best."

On the other hand, some teachers aren't as lucky as me when it comes to students. One of my colleagues was trying to come up with a bespoke lesson plan for a beautiful, fairly advanced young woman who may or may not be here to enjoy London's nightlife while staying in the country on an educational visa.

Teacher: What do you use English for at home?

Student: Oh, not much.

Teacher: Okay ... what do you want to do in the next five years once you're out of university and speaking English more fluently? What are your dreams?

Student: *sigh* I don't need dreams. I have money.

Someday, when I have lots of money, I'll see if there's a proportional decrease in my dreams.

I'm betting that's not gonna happen.