7/06/2016

Of Ears and Emails


On the first day of my English for Business class, I assigned my students to research on writing business emails. “Apply what you have learned by writing me an email, evaluating how our class went,” I said.

“After receiving my reply," I added, "print the email thread for discussion and grading the next time we meet." 

Every email raved over the first day of class, except one. It had something important to say: 

Dear Ms. Chong,

I enjoyed our first session in your class and I would want you to hear my evaluation of it. The class was smooth, well-paced, and fun. However, sometimes a student calls out to you and you do not answer him, including me. I hope you will be more inclined to answer your students when called out to in the future.

Thank you for your patience and consideration.

Sincerely ,
KJ


* * *

Dear KJ,

Thank you for your message. I am glad you had fun on our first day of class.

As for replying to students, may I request that you make your voice louder next time. If I wasn’t able to give you attention, please be assured it was not intentional. I have difficulty hearing when too many sounds are going on at the same time. I hope you can be a little more patient regarding this matter.

Please print this email thread and bring the hard copy to class for discussion and correction next session.

Blessings,
Ms. Chong
 

* * *

Hi, KJ!

I thought of a more practical idea—raise your hand when you want to say something. My eyes are better than my ears at the moment. That way, you can be acknowledged immediately. 


Ms. Chong


* * *

Hello, Ms. Chong,


That’s actually a good idea. I will be doing that. By the way, should I be adding this part of the conversation as well in the printed paper?

Thank you for your suggestion and see you next session. 

Sincerely,
KJ 


* * *

Dear KJ,

It’s your call.

You may print all—just for laughs and for my teaching moment. Or you may not, because you will be self-checking more emails than your classmates. This exercise comprises: guided self-marking, 50%, and marking by the tutor, me, 50%.  Added up, this will be your final grade for this assignment.

Ms. Chong 


* * *

Dear Ms. Chong,

I see.  Then I will be disregarding most of the messages.

Thank you very much for your advice.

Sincrely,
KJ 


* * *

I did not disregard any of the messages. I screen-grabbed them all and made them a part of my slide  presentation the next session.  Just as I thought, the class had a good laugh, learned  how email exchanges should go—and I had my own grace moment. 

Finding teaching moments like this is like finding a treasure in a trash heap.


3 comments:

Yay Padua-Olmedo said...

What would our life be without teaching? Though I sometimes feel ambivalent about "to teach" or "not to teach," "to teach" always wins out in the end. Thank you Lord for the opportunity to touch our students' lives.

Grace D. Chong said...

I never planned on teaching. It just sort of fell into place after leaving the workforce. Divine guidance?

Vie Velasco said...

Dear Ma'am Grace,
It's very humbling to know that you are open to your students' suggestions and "constructive criticism". Some teachers don't know how to listen. You do. I would listen more to my students. :-)