Tonight, I did something that I rarely do.
As I wrote in a previous entry, I found language class run by volunteers. It's my third time attending the class. Usually, the class is two hours. By the end of the first hour, I made up some lame excuse that I was not feeling well, said "sumimasen," got up from my seat, and left without looking back.
I was growing frustrated with the way the lesson was being conducted. I didn't feel that there was no real learning happening. First off, I couldn't understand what the instructor was saying. The instructor spoke at a natural speed so it was pretty difficult for me to catch everything. I know it wasn't just me who felt that way because the other two people I previously attended the class with also felt the same thing.
Next, I was being made to read the textbook. Sure, there's no problem with that because it's great reading practice. However, after I finish reading a line, I was just being asked, "Wakarimasu?" I say yes and I'm asked to read the next time. The thing is I can read the book on my own time. The reason I chose to go to a class was so that I can learn things outside of the textbook.
Then, there was the rapport. I tried to be friendly and all, but I felt the instructor also felt awkward. And I also felt bad for the instructor because I got the feeling that the instructor would've preferred a person at a higher intermediate level.
So, I decided to get up and leave. At first, I thought of finishing the entire lesson but I realized that at my age, I shouldn't have to put up with certain things. My only regret was that I hope the other two people in the group feel that I left because of them, because it wasn't. Seriously. I just felt I was being a burden to the instructor. I also don't blame the instructor because it's all volunteer work. The fee I paid was peanuts so I have no right whatsoever to complain.
Hmm, I do know my points are valid because I am in language teaching. True, I may be a newbie but I think that after 143 lessons, I may know a thing or two about it.
So now, I have to look for another class to attend. Or maybe I should go ahead and sign up for a "real" class. If I do plan to live in Japan for a long time, I do have to make the investment.
Anyway, I had two thoughts as I made way to the train station. First, I'm going to get that sinful ice cream from 7-11 to feel better. Second, I hope I never ever make any of my students feel the way I did tonight. My prayer every single day before I start my lessons is to be guided to be the best possible ELT that I can be.
End of semi-rant.