Things I've Taught My Students

For five years, I've been teaching English as a Second Language, and for the last two years I've been teaching adults new to an English-speaking country. They've certainly taught me heaps (How to say "I'm tired" in Hmong, the merits of Shelly Senbei, how to rock at ping pong) and I've taught them a few things that weren't part of the curriculum. A sampling?
  1. How to ride an escalator
  2. Not to pick your nose in public
  3. Who to call about an abortion
  4. How to cast a fishing pole
  5. Not to ask an American about their weight/age/income/religion
  6. How to ride the bus
  7. How to use a mouse (clue: putting it on your neighbor's desk and then dragging it two feet does not help at all)
  8. Not to spit your sunflower seeds directly onto the carpet
  9. That you need to wear shoes into stores

What did you learn from your teachers that wasn't in the syllabus?

Posted by Sarah Von


Freya said...

This is great. I'd love for you to do a "things my students have taught me" one as well.

Luinae said...

Haha, this is hilarious!

ansi said...

They taught me not to be ashamed of myself, most importantly, but there were also these wonderful unforgettable lessons...

How to set off firecrackers safely.
How to snag that boy who pulls your figurative pigtails by leaving junk in your belongings.
Not to snap at your husband by insulting his career when you want him to leave you alone.
How to distract small children.
To write your wife GOOD poetry.
That journalism is one of the most important non-degree classes you can take.
The Giants are the best team ever. (Ha, I don't think I actually learned this one.)
Don't mix different types of alcohol...
Hang out with different people - you'll learn more than you expect, and you may learn to like them.
Only eat with one hand in India and in the Middle East.
Flowers work magic in all sorts of persuasion.
Don't go back to Russia if the KGB ever had a file on you.
Dress as if you respect yourself before you can expect anyone else to respect you.
It's totally acceptable to raise your infant child on AC/DC and Ozzy Osbourne.
One of the most important tools you can have in any industry is your ability to make connections and turn them into relationships.
One of the other most important tools you can have in any industry is passion. Constant burning passion. It can out-burn natural talent.

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