Contradiction

One day I was giving feedback to a student’s essay. She had written an account of how she had overcome a problem. Although her words and sentences were not that great, one particular sentence in the conclusion paragraph was enough to position her essay in the top 3 list. I must admit that it is the reason why I am able to compose this entry today.

She wrote “I said I loved rain, but I used an umbrella to walk under it. I said I loved sun, but I sought shade when it was shining. I said I loved wind, but when it came, I closed my window”.

I was awed by the expression, so I shared it with several other friends. They reacted the same way I did, and one of them even made it a Facebook post.

I learnt from my student the next day that it was in fact a modified version of a quote by Bob Marley. She pointed that she had come across the statement while surfing on the internet and just noted it down on a piece of paper to put up on the wall without even thinking she might use it for  a purpose one day. When I asked her how she had decided to include the quote in her composition, she said she had automatically recalled it while searching for the right sentence to emphasize the lesson learnt from the experience.

As is seen conveyed by Bob Marley, people may not act in accordance with their emotions, ideas, principles etc. at all times. This can be observed in teacher behavior, too. We, teachers, always suggest “Teaching is learning”, “Nobody is a loser” or “A great teacher inspires”, yet do you think we really display those sweet reflections in our acts? Do you believe we make it a habit of ours to smile and let smile? Do you promise that you never ever ignore any student in class?

My humble opinion is that some teachers, at some point in their careers, let mundane pressure overtake them, and find themselves off the track or feel perplexed by having to choose one way or another. That is why it is quite possible to be lost allowing demotivation and pessimism to knock the door.

However, the best action at such times of crisis would be to embrace hope and optimism because it means welcoming countless possibilities. Jacqueline Novogratz, Acumen Fund founder, highlights the significance of hope as follows: “Hope may not feed us, but it is hope that sustains us”.

Needless to say, language teaching is a real challenge. Likewise, language learners should be encouraged, inspired and guided constantly. I cannot help thinking, in this respect, that teachers are those to show to learners the vitality of enthusiasm and perseverance, so they should always keep that in mind and BE INSPIRED to achieve the ultimate goal.

Note: I would especially like to thank Duygu BAYRAM, an E.L.T student at Anadolu University Open Education Faculty,  for her inspiring reflection and permission for me to mention it in my blog.

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