Favouritism

I’ve never really thought about it before, but now that I have become a teacher it has occurred to me that we most definitely favour certain students over others. I think anyone who has gone to school realizes this, whether they are the lucky ones that are favouritized or if they’ve notice it in other students. The reasons for liking some students over others vary depending on the class – energy, humour, skills, intelligence, and personality. I love having favourites. They really do make my day more enjoyable or teaching the class more tolerable. I’ll even go as far as naming all my favourites from each class!
Small Stars Green: Leola (cutest little girl you will ever see), Small Stars Red: Jake (smartest, sweetest, best behaved boy in the class!), HF3A: Levi and Frog (class clowns), HF3B: Larry (sometimes naughty, but always has the correct answer so I let it slide. *favouritism!*), TB2A: Patrick (he’s quiet, but a really good kid. I always let him play the games first haha), TB4A: Barry (13 years old and reminds me of a Chinese Harry Potter), Y9: Lee (sweet kid, very clever!), Real 1 Beginners: Marie and Liz (smartest women in the class, always catch on very quick!). I could probably list my least favourite students too…but I wont. It’s usually the ones that have attitudes or bad tempers though.

Something I’ve noticed about myself is that the majority of my favourites tend to be boys. They are just more energized, carefree and fun to teach overall. But once again, it really depends on the class.

I also happen to favour certain classes over others. When I started teaching 2 months ago, I was under the impression that I would enjoy teaching the teenagers and older students more than the kids. I stand corrected! The older TB and Real classes I have are complicated to plan and can get very boring because they are all teenagers between 13-16, and teenagers don’t want to play games. At least, not without much complaining and sulking. My younger TB’s are around 10-12 years old, so they are always willing to be active and goof around, but the older classes bore me to death! For example, I taught my Y9’s (teenagers that speak at an advanced level) a lesson on wishes and giving advice, and we watched a clip from Aladdin and I told them to tell me what their 3 wishes would be if they found a magic lamp. The majority of answers I got were “I wish I was the best at math” or “I want a super brain to do my homework fast” or “I want to go to any university I want”. I was like “What!? No one wants a flying horse that talks?? No one wants a taco that poops ice cream?? No one wants to be a vampire??” So lame. At least one girl gave an outside-the-box answer: “I wish I had a Transformer”. Now we’re getting somewhere! That was the most exciting thing that happened in that 2 hour class. That one answer. Brutal. I do, however, like teaching my Real 1 class (all adult beginners, anything they know in English is what I’ve taught them so far) because they’re there because they want to be, which makes a huge difference.

My HF classes (8-11 year olds) have become my favourite level to teach. The material and concepts we teach at that level are difficult, but the kids are so animated and throw themselves whole-heartedly into every game I come up with. It’s actually become a joy to teach. Not always, sometimes they can be little shits, but HF has definitely become my favourite level. On Saturday, Casey and I combined our HF3A classes and had them dance-off with each other to Michael Jackson music! There was a lesson point, I swear! They were learning about comparatives: My dance is better than your dance! My kids loved it! Too fun! I enjoy the Small Stars (3-5 year olds) as well because of how absolutely adorable my students are, but those classes can become very tedious and energy-sucking. I like to call it “The Stephanie Show”! Think about any children’s program you’ve watched and how adults talk and act in them. It’s like that, except the children don’t understand you. Also, kids at that age (well, any age) can be disgusting. You say “Make a circle!” and they run over and grab your hand and you feel something wet or sticky…. and you never find out what it is…I usually don’t want to know. So yes, they can be pretty nasty. But cute!

Do I think favouritism is a bad or good thing? I think maybe it could be bad in regards to classroom dynamics and fairness…but it’s definitely good for me!

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. My-Tien
    Sep 18, 2011 @ 12:07:50

    I’m happy you’re warming up to children so much Steph, not that you hated kids or anything but you get my drift. Next step- find a rich Chinese doctor and start popping out lots of babies! (Not in China though, obviously)

    Reply

  2. Giancarlo Cerquozzi
    Sep 29, 2011 @ 03:54:10

    I hope baby is doing well! I see that the next entry is all about her; I AM SO EXCITED.

    Reply

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