EOI Goya English Department

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To my 4th Year students (course 2007/2008)

Here External Link is the thread at our Reading Club blog where you can post your comments

When I look back to the first days in October I see myself climbing the stairs to my classroom clutching my books and my bottle of water, my handbag dangling from my shoulder, I see myself entering a class where a rough 25 people are seated waiting for me, all eyes turned on me ready to… pounce…

I observe them closely but they are not aware of this, a pack of new, uninteresting students I have to make mine; I suspect they are worse than those of previous years: some are chattering with last year's mates (the two Patricias), some sit quietly (Roberto), some look worried, the fourth year is very difficult, they are thinking… (María), some unconcerned (those who attended and did no work), some uninterested, wanting time to pass quickly so that they can speak to the teacher and tell her they can't attend lessons! (then, why did they inscribe, I ask myself?), some haughty, conscious of what they have achieved in English so far, or in life (the Bandit), some absent-mindedly trying to find a place for their bicycle seat (José Manuel), some decided to carry out their point, whatever (Paloma), some askance (Begoña), a few with a very positive attitude (Rachel, Elena Martínez), many horrible (that awful woman with whom I argued about Leti!), a lot challenging me as I introduce the course. My students go to the theatre. Many angry half way through. My students are the best. Most developing a strong dislike for me. Everyday the chapter... And then, as they leave the classroom, ALL hate MEEE!!! The only person that WILL teach them in spite of themselves.

We started, as every year, a very difficult first month. They know very little, think I during the first week. They know nothing, I conclude after the second week. Back to the verbal structure and the four rules! We progress… slowly… the subjunctive… -4… the chapters… lots of vocabulary… inversions… the cleft.

Marta tells me that she would like to do a Literary Project with the students and that the 4ths should be the ones to do it because they read the same novel… Impossible, says I, these 4ths are horrible, do not know enough, do it with my 5ths. Marta begs… I start to think why not? It's a great challenge, they'll improve… perhaps it's the only way we have of obtaining this improvement… and… I accepted!

Well, we've come  long way me and my Fourths! I would like to say first of all that WE DID DO IT and it was no easy task. You've all worked very hard and many of you have improved amazingly. All of you have learnt something and all of us have enjoyed ourselves and have developed quite a feeling of belonging to the Club, whatever that is, but it sounds great.

Now that we have to say goodbye, I would like to say how proud I feel of my students (frankly, I never thought I would be saying this as I trudged up those stairs in October), you cannot imagine how little you came in with and with how much you go away, I admit I helped, but without your effort, mine would have been fruitless.

I want you to know (and remember that I've never told you a tale) that even if I do not see you again you will always be with me treasured in my heart, and to my dying day I will always remember you, dressed in white, dancing like daffodils…

For ever, and for ever, farewell………!
If we do meet again, why, we shall smile;
If not, why then, this parting was well made
                          (Julius Caesar, W. Shakespeare)


God bless.


P.S. My last word had to be a subjunctive, of course!!

Here External Link is the thread at our Reading Club blog where you can post your comments