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May 04, 2005

What's Your Job Description?

Last week, a student of mine--who is a university professor--asked me to proof-read a paper that he had written for publication. This isn't the first time one of my students has asked me to do extra work for them outside of class. In fact, this one particular class is full of professors, and all of them have to publish professionally in order to keep their jobs.

The problem is, they aren't an advanced class--only upper intermediate--and although they make a good effort at writing in English, their work takes a lot of effort to edit.

I have increased the writing work in this class significantly. In fact, I have started a journaling aspect to this class where they are required to bring a journal of their week on Tuesday, then I return it on Thursdays--corrected--and they start journaling again for the next week. The problem is that these students have a ways to go until they will be able to turn in the papers without someone helping them to edit them.

So, here's my gripe.

Most ESL teachers that I know work a lot of hours. We not only teach our classes, but spend an equal amount of time preparing for them and grading work that has been turned in. I know that at the end of the day, all I want to do is RELAX! Editing is difficult work, especially when it's been written by someone who doesn't speak English that well. In truth, I don't want to edit these papers in my free time.

On the other hand...

I consider part of my job as a teacher to encourage my students. These professors didn't turn in papers in English before I started working with them, and have done so only at my urging. They are truly proud of themselves (as they should be) and I want to act as supportive as I can.

I guess I've put myself in between a rock and a hard place, huh?

How many of you go "that extra mile?" Do you consider a scenario like the one described above as a good teacher doing all she can to ensure that her students are happy and learn well, or am I just a sucker?

I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Until next time,

Michelle

Posted by msimmons at May 4, 2005 08:23 PM

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