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Personal Best

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Personal Best
Siyu Hu

At 2011, when I was a sophomore, I was very glad that I was admitted by a famous Chinese English training school, New Oriental, worked as a head teacher of the GRE class. This class was a closed class during the winter vacation which was lasting one month. During this month, all the students would live in a school campus together, and the class room was also in that campus, students cannot leave this campus during that month unless. My job was take charge of all the 20 students in my class, studied with them and lived with them. If they had any problem, I would help them to solve problems and keep in touch with their parents. At the first day of the GRE winter class, all the teachers and students met at New Oriental school campus and we went to our closed campus all together by bus. All this way was like a short road trip, at this little journey I first meet all the students who would spent the coming month with me. All the students is strange to me, at the same time, me also strange to them, so the first and the most important thing I was going to do was let we getting to know each other. Then I made a self introduction to them, and we played a game called pass ball in order to know each other. The rooms of all students was already arranged, so after we arrived at our campus what I had to do is just gave them their room’s key, show them where is the dining hall and class room for our class, then let them went to their rooms and took a rest. Then my first challenge was come. My 20 students they are the same age with me and I am not more knowledge than them, I have not study GRE before. So for me, for them, I more like a classmate or friends to each others. I do not want them consider me just as a teacher; I want to them think me as a friend. And I am not the teacher who gave them GRE class, I would not teach them; I would study with them, and give their help during the daily and study life at this month. But I still had made some rules; I must let them follow those rules to study more effectively. So my big challenge was to find a position between teacher and friend. Let them considered me as a friend is easy because I am the same age with them, I am even younger than some students. So how to make them respect me and my rules and make them believe I can help them. After lunch, each class had their own time for their teacher. During that time everyone made a more detail self introduction, I let them share what is their goal after this month, how to achieve their goal, and what help they want to get from me. I prepared some papers in different color, let them chose a paper with the color their favorite and write down their goal on that piece of paper. Then, I let them put their goals on the black board back of our class room. I think at the first day, everyone would be ambitious, but GRE is hard to learn, after some days students they may feel tired, they may miss their family, they may feel memorize GRE words is hard and boring, they may want to give up. So I want to let everyone can see their goals every day, and let them encourage each others during that month. Sometimes one month is a short time, buy sometimes not. In that case, one month is a long time, but if let everyone know that they are not study alone, they may enjoy study. Let them know their behavior could also influence and encourage other, they will learned more than they expect. At the second day, the one-month class started. At the first week, everything was good. But at the first Saturday, some students had troubles on get up early and skip their breakfast. Because there was no weekend, everyone showed tired. I began to wake up everyone students in my class in the morning. Every class have a half-hour at morning and after lunch, I started allowed them have their breakfast during the morning class. I bought a lot of chocolate and gave it to them during break times. I canceled the entire task during the individual study class after lunch, and let them have a short nap. Every evening class was my time, I used to let them memorize 100 words and gave them a small test, after I found they are tired, I shorted evening class, I let them memorize 80 words and took place the test part place of games to enhance their memory. I couldn’t let them leave earlier, but I could have some fun with them. It seems what I have done make my students studied less, but actually it made them learn more, and made them study effectively. I let them memorize 100 words, but they forgot 50 words just after the test, but through games, they could remember all the 80 words I let them memorized. And have more rest made them had more energy during classes, every student in my class are lively and ambitious than students in other class. During that month, everyone learned a lot, and we were not just a class any more, we are a family. For me, what I have learned is not only how to lead a class, but also how to make students enjoy study and study effectively. I think the most important thing to make students respect me is not just more knowledge than them; I also have to make them think that I am the one who being with them. I could be a teacher, could be a friend, could help them, and could have fun with them. Secondly, more assignment and tests does not mean students could learn more, find the way to let students enjoy study, let them want to learn more and guide them study effectively is what a teacher’s role.

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