If you read my previous article on diaries you’d know just how much I encourage students to study at home. However self-study can never replace actual study in the classroom. Homework merely complements the lessons. In my experience it’s hard to keep your motivation high doing things on your own. Most people work better with some pressure being put on them, we also benefit from the ideas of others. That’s one of the things I love about teaching at Smith’s 英会話 in Hirakata because classes are divided by level and, more importantly, the maximum number of students per class is 3. In the past I have taught classes of up to 25 students but in such a large class few students get a chance to contribute to the lesson as there simply isn’t enough time to get everyone involved. The better we get, the more focus we require. So keeping the number of the students low allows for ample opportunity for the teacher to focus in on each student’s weak points.
Self-study does work. I taught myself magic, photography, and computers but I always found there was a limit to how much I could take in from the material at which point I ended up getting lazy and in the end my skill plateaued. I know now that having people around me that work hard and push me to be better is the key to true learning. Here’s a simple formula that I think works:
Lessons + Homework + Encouragement + Perseverance = Success
We could all use a little help. Batman had his Robin, Michael Jordan had Pippen and even Jesus had his disciplines.
(Click on Michael Jordan to watch some of his greatest moves)