I teach 12 groups of students per week. It means teaching and interacting with 94 individuals. I can describe each of my students and give detailed comments on their personality, typical behaviour, difficulties they experience in the classroom, and their attitude to our lessons.
Emotional authenticity and investment, as well as teacher-student relationship, are wide-researched topics in the field of ELT. We all know that our relationship is developing differently with different groups/students, and we are all guilty of having our favourites (I am no exception).
My favourites are groups that consist of smart and fast-thinking students. They love brainstorming; their ideas are more or less broad and interesting to listen to. They love English and enjoy the CLT environment. Finally, they are always eager to learn something new; they accept everything new that comes from me with enthusiasm and start using it immediately. Their level does not matter – their attitude does. No wonder that I, as a teacher, want to give as much as possible to the students in these groups.
Now, one of the things I often repeat to my students is that discussion is always teamwork and that it is up to them to ensure that everyone gets equal opportunities.
What I have realised is that while I am teaching my students about being considerate and mindful of each other, I myself might have broken these principles. I have come to an understanding that I am less emotionally invested in those groups that do not meet the criteria written above. I still care about them, but since they are less receptive and do not seem to be that into what we are doing, I start feeling the same. I do my job as well as I can, but I do not share my knowledge with them as easily and happily as I do with my favourites. I am just not sure if they need or want it.
I know what is happening here is logical and can be easily explained by some theories and backed up with some research, I do. My question is not why, but what should I do to change it and should I even change it or not.
I do not have the answers to these questions, and I am not sure I ever will.