(Photo credit: http://bit.ly/1OQk2cF)
As with a great Mum with their child, being able to listen again and again to the same old thing and appear just as excited and interested in a convincing way is a gift bestowed only onto the greatest of actors….and so it is here that I give praise to those great esl teachers who have listened again and again to the stories of delicious Kabsa or Kim Chi and have welcomed the students desire to let them taste it for the very first time, though they may have dined out on the stuff for years.
Such a skill is something not everyone can do. To listen again and again to not only this but the same errors, dreams, problems that fit any student at a certain time of their learning, requires incredibly honed skills in acting. The patience and power of that teacher to nurture and encourage even the weakest of students is the very source from which the student will grow.
It always amazes me when people say to me that they don’t have enough patience to be a teacher. It sounds like a cop out to me, as patience seems to be something we always need, no matter what we are doing. But then again, maybe they are really saying ‘ I don’t have enough skill in being the kind of great actor I would need to be to make things constantly positive and forward moving….’
I really do think that teachers of course are just as human as anyone else, and their patience can be tested at any time. But the difference is that they have developed a series of ‘scripts’ inside their head to churn out that they know always work to ease the situation and can make everyone happy (often for different reasons – but that’s okay too). This I consider great acting.
But let’s not confuse great acting with great insincerity. The difference is simple. Great insincerity is usually loaded with sarcasm, negativity and annoyance – when someone is insincere, the negative energy is loud and clear even though the words are the same. When someone shows great acting skills, they can get that same sentence and fuel it with the energy of themselves and all the love that goes with it, without feeling that they have been hypocritical to themselves. How do they do that? They just tell themselves that this sentence is going to be good for everyone concerned right now, so here we go!
The thing to remember here is ‘right now’. When an actor acts, he is living in the moment, it is all about now, they know that what comes out of their mouth at this moment is for now and in now way insinuates that this is the persons long term ideas and opinions on anything. It is just about now, and the impact it can make now.
So let’s take a moment to sit back and appreciate the great acting skills involved in our incredible teachers!
What do you think?