A lot changed in my life since October. I moved to Istanbul and started a new job at a university. So far I love what I am doing..

This quarter I taught English to Level 1 students. This was something new for me as I’ve never worked with L1 before. Some of them were true beginners, some were false beginners and all were great young people. Seeing them enthusiastic about learning the language made me more and more enthusiastic about my job. But of course there were some exceptions.

Leaving no child behind is one of the things I try to accomplish paying equal attention to everyone in my class. I believe I achieved this. But at the end of the quarter which is 2 months, I felt sorry when I saw some grades. I also felt responsible.

I can understand me feeling sorry but there is something wrong with me feeling responsible. I will tell you why.

There were about 6 true beginners in one of my classes and I could see 4 of them were really trying to catch up with the others. They came to me and asked for help. I gave them some books, showed them how they can study more online, did tutorials, and so on. And the other 2. Well, as you can guess, they were not really interested in doing something for themselves. They were like they accepted the failure.

Almost the end of the quarter and those 4 kids did so good that I felt satisfied as a teacher and happy for them as a friend. Then I saw the grades of those 2 students. The first thing I asked myself was ‘What else could I have done to help these kids? Should I have done some more and more tutorials with them? I kept asking what and how questions during the last week. Then finally I had an answer. I totally paid the same attention to these kids and the reactions I got were also totally different.

Then I said to myself, ‘ You did everything you could.’ 10 minutes after this, I saw this Chinese Proverb online by chance.

‘Teachers open the door, but you must enter by yourself.’ Chinese Proverb

As teachers we have high expectations of our students and this is very normal. We want them to succeed. But sometimes you can’t make it on your own. I guess  it happens when they want it more than us.

If you want to share your experience or feelings, you are more than welcome!

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