Just looked up at my bedroom wall; and there pinned to the little brown board, is a happy souvenir, and a welcome reminder.
One of my old pupils, when I was an English Teaching Assistant 2 years ago in Le Mans (for the British Council on my 3rd year abroad, like), gave me this lovely souvenir: a drawing of Mickey Mouse, and a lovely acronym of my name.
She wrote the following:
A comme le A de sympA!
You can probably make out most of what the French means; if not, ‘incroyable’ means ‘amazing’ 😉 and ‘sympa’ means nice. You can also see that she’s included the words, ‘timide’ (timid/shy), ‘sympa’ (nice) and ‘nouvelle’ (new) in the acronym.
Well, the French have pointed out to me this week, that I am somewhat “timid” and “too nice”. They have also recognised that I am “new” when it comes to teaching. I found hearing some of this discouraging; I know it was most probably them just voicing what they’ve come to realise and giving me advice, but I still felt a bit under-qualified as they were listing my characteristics, and suggesting changes or implying that I could do with some help…
I understand that perhaps timidity and being-too-nice are not what we need in a classroom environment (especially with rowdy children!) Plus I really, really appreciate all the advice colleagues and friends have been giving me regarding discipline and getting settled into teaching. But sometimes, perhaps such qualities are needed. In any case, after having looked up at this little reminder of the acronym, I can rest assured that there are times when such qualities are appreciated.
After all, as it says in Ecclesiastes 3:
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens […]