Lately, I have been concerned about my work. I am an English teacher on the one-on-one basis. I used to teach a class but having been convinced by the present supervisor that I am better cut out for the individual lesson, I am no longer engaged in giving a lecture to a class.
Now I have one year's experience of doing it, and I am used to it, so that I can contemplate on what I am doing, how I do it, and how I can be of use to the student. When I was a novice, I was preoccupied just with giving a lecture so I couldn't take time to think about it.
But as it turned out, the more I think about it, the more anxious I become. The lesson on the one-on-one basis can be devoid of any tension between the two. It is good in that the student doesn't feel anxious during the lesson, which must be avoided if unnecessary, but the lack of tension I am liable to form between the student and me often leads us astray. It leads me or us to feel good as long as the class proceeds peacefully. But the trouble is, this peaceful lesson, no matter how many times it is conducted, tends to bear no fruit. I have to consider how to maintain a benign tension between us, that is, a tension which permits the student to keep studying and to achieve the goal without making them feel uncomfortable about coming to my lesson.
For now, I don't have the slightest idea. Probably, it depends on the personality and the study habit of the student. As a result, to form and maintain a good relationship with the student should be in my job description, though it is often dismissed from it. I thought the job of a teacher was to prepare for the class so that you can make it meaningful enough for the student to feel that it is worth sparing time for. But to deliver a lecture is one thing and quite another, to forge a healthy relationship with the student. I lived as if a relationship were something to form spontaneously and nothing to craft intentionally. However, with a job so vulnerable to it, I have to establish and handle it with care.