I noticed something interesting last week. My coworkers seem to think that it is impossible for me to disagree with them. There are two possible outcomes when a conversation evolves into a debate:
1) I agree with them.
2) I just don’t understand.
I’m getting tired of being told that I don’t understand – especially when it comes to simple concepts that I fully grasp. This circular logic arms them with a way to shut down any argument or debate without ever having to admit that I may have a point.
I am constantly saying, “I understand you – I just disagree.” Unless I have something to gain by engaging in a debate, I do all I can to avoid them. But sometimes they are impossible to avoid. Unlike my colleagues, I am burdened by logic, so they automatically have the upper hand. This makes for some extremely frustrating conversations.
NT: William, you must be calm when dealing with students. You cannot remove them from class physically.
Me: That was the only option. I told him to be quiet, and he said “no”. I told him to leave, and he said “no”. He left me with no choice.
NT: Maybe you should let the Native Teacher handle it.
Me: I did. The kid told him “no”, too. The teacher just shrugged and walked away.
NT: Well, that student doesn’t have many friends.
Me: That is not relevant to this conversation.
NT: Well, he is a very low-level English student.
*Note: I hear this CONSTANTLY. Every time I am “too hard” on kids, she cites their low-level.
Me: That is also not relevant to this conversation. The Korean teacher spoke to him in Korean. Not to mention, his English proficiency has nothing to do with ability to follow the rules.
NT: I think you don’t understand.
As you may have noticed, I paraphrased the Native Teacher’s part in that conversation. It wouldn’t have made sense if I wrote it verbatim.
I think I need to play their game. These arguments are apparently no-holds-barred. Why the hell am I playing by rules that don’t seem to exist? I can just imagine the power that comes with throwing off the shackles of common sense. I’ll be wild and free. “Often wrong, never in doubt” will now be my motto at school.
Until next time.