January 26th, 2016

boymen // honda taiki

Don't give up!

On Monday, I taught one of my favourite students. I've been teaching him for over four years, and I've seen him turn from an enthusiastic, perfectly behaved elementary school student, to a grumpy teenager. Which is fine, because that's what happens. Even though he continually complains about being tired, and is reluctant to do anything, he always does try his best in the end. He's a good kid, just a regular teenager.

Yesterday, he came into the classroom looking super depressed, dumped a book he had borrowed from the classroom onto the table, and told me "I did so badly on my Eiken test." The tests were yesterday, so he didn't have the results yet, he just guessed how he had done. He told me he had been really fine at the listening, but some of the writing part had been super difficult for him and he was really annoyed at himself. I couldn't really tell him that maybe he had done fine, because I had no idea.

For the first part of the lesson he was still really putting himself down and kept saying, "It's fine, I'm not going to do it again, I give up with English, I can't do it." This kid is really really into soccer, and plays on his school team. The team does really well (he told me that if they win their next match they will be 2nd in the prefecture). He said, "it's fine, I don't need English, I'll just play soccer." I talked with him about how if he really becomes a successful soccer player there will be a lot more opportunities open to him if he knows English, and that he shouldn't confine himself to Japan because he gave up. What he really wants to do is go to the UK, and I support that thoroughly but told him no one really speaks Japanese there.

Anyway, in the end, we got on with the lesson and as always he knew EVERYTHING because he always does, because he's good at English. So, I encouraged him, told him he was doing well, that his answers were perfect. After about 20 minutes, after he got another answer perfect, he suddenly looked up and said, "see, I AM okay at English, Eiken is just difficult." And when he was leaving at the end of class he asked me when the next round of Eiken tests are. Honestly, I hope that he really did pass this time after all and doesn't have to go through it again (kids have enough to do in Junior High school without him having to study for an extra test again) but if not, it seems like he at least hasn't given up just yet.

Anyway, that's my motivational work story of the week. This is my busiest work week so I'm just kind of working my way through it. My reward at the end of the week is Izaki's birthday event so it's worth getting through for.