Why I’m the worst student in Arabic class

Three words: I rarely study.

I’m a teacher, so I know the importance of studying. I know my students can’t really improve in English if they don’t spend at least a little time studying outside of class. And they have four hours of classwork each day, so it’s even less necessary for them to study in order to see progress.

You’d think I’d know better.

Well, the problem isn’t that I somehow don’t know how to be a better student. The problem is that I’m not willing to put in the effort to be a better student.

I attend class twice per week for two hours each time. I usually spend at least a few days on the bus each week studying or doing homework for the classes. Each ride lasts 15-20 minutes. All told then, I invest about five hours each week into Arabic. That’s it.

It’s not that I don’t have the time. It’s that I’m not willing to trade that time for high skills in Arabic. For me, five hours is enough. It’s more important to direct the other hours elsewhere.

I attend every class, though, the only student who’s never missed one. And of the 80 teachers in this program who could attend, only six still show up. I figure, even if I’m the worst student in class, I’m still better off than the 70+ teachers who either quit or never bothered to start.

But yeah, everyone makes their own decisions based on the beliefs they have about the situation they’re in. I shouldn’t be comparing myself to them. Instead, I keep attending because I know for me, comparing where I am now to where I’d be if I didn’t attend, I’m better off learning some of the language. I’m better off being a bad student than not a student at all.

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