Sunday, 8 March 2009

I enjoyed my pupils’ tears...

Which of these do we see more often, smiles or tears?

Is it a matter of culture or an idiosyncrasy among people to show more smiles than tears?

    Whatever the rationale governing people’s behaviour, it will not spoil the pleasure I’ve had after seeing my pupils’ tears in class. This sounds sadistic and unbecoming of a teacher, but that was the case.

    After 23 years of work, I have finally been gratified with tears. They are not grief tears; they are not farewell tears, either.

In any assignment, I always sneak-peek into my pupils’ faces and examine their looks for the deep down impression they have about the test. This time, I saw tears, real tears falling.

“What’s the matter?”I inquired.

“It’s the boy”, said the girl. “The boy in the text, the story…”

The same answer came from another girl in another row.

   The text was about a little boy who learnt to play music to communicate with his deaf mother. She died that morning, and  with his excellent performance he wanted to have a communion with her soul.

    The empathy the pupils felt with the boy in this story was the best I could expect. It was a genuine feedback, a reaction coming from really living emotionally the situation in the text. It was a delightful moment. How can’t  teachers ponder over it?

    Reading can be therapeutic when we engage fully our brains in it. Wasn’t theatre used to help exit people’s bottled-up feelings? Catharsis… that was it. Why don’t we make use of it for pedagogical purposes? Make pupils inventive while helping them pour out their innermost vibes. An inside-out communication, that would be!!!

    The process will require two things; the first is certainly related to the authenticity of the materials to use. The second should be about the topic itself. The topic should appeal to pupils’ emotions, challenge their opinions and standpoints, push them to respond whether consciously or unconsciously to it.

    For teachers as well as for book designers, selecting the materials-text, picture, listening script... is the crux of the matter. It is the very factor that will increase or reduce the readers’ interest.

    After that rare moment of exaltation I’ve had, credit should be given to those who supply the inexhaustible and ever-renewed resources of the web with genuine stories and case studies. Those resources are appropriate to our class needs as they relate real English and American circumstances.

Gone is the time when we used to glean information from moth-eaten books and magazines.  


  1. A dedicated teacher who is a wealth for his learners ! Blessed those who are taught by you !
    I wish I were 15 years younger and be your student !(I am joking )
    In fact , I didn't miss much because I am learning from you a wealth of values .
    A billion times Thank You !

  2. I really appreciate your comments. They are coming from a caring person.