In the evening and during the weekends I work with clients in my therapy practice. My clients tend to be women, since I seem to have a ‘market’ profile that leads to a predominantly female clientèle.

During the day I run around Bratislava as something like a speeddate teacher. I teach an hour of Dutch there, one hour of French there, two hours of English at one company, and 90 minutes of German at some other multinational, to end the teaching day with three hours of Dutch at yet an other company. Luckily I pay only about 200 euro for one year of using all public transportation in Bratislava.

A lot of the groups I teach are 100 percent female.

The atmosphere is totally different from mixed groups or all male groups.

The least relaxed groups are mixed groups in which there are also hierarchical relationships between the students. Those groups are not very open to playfulness.

Relaxed, pleasant, quiet, but not very dynamic groups, are all male groups.

The most fun are all female groups. They are hi-la-ri-ous.

I’ve heard quite a few people make the claim that women have no sense of humor.

I strongly recommend these people to go and teach a room full of women.

Some surprising observations

  • They are very playful
  • They make flirtatious jokes
  • They are incredible eager to learn
  • They ask lots of questions
  • They generally take very good, very structured notes, yet this not distract them from what’s going on around them. Men tend to take a lot less notes and to arrive without any tools to even take any notes
  • They laugh a lot
  • They are very creative in dialogues
  • They are usually not afraid to make mistakes and don’t take themselves too seriously (some men block all their learning abilities from the start, because they do not want to ‘lose face’…)
  • They usually see patterns in languages, especially if they already know other foreign languages
  • They usally make sure you get a class of water
  • They ask more personal questions
  • They are open to dicussions and candid dialogues, which is a great asset when it’s your goal to make your students learn a new language
  • The rhythm is somehow a lot more faster than with all male groups
  • Topics touched upon will often be centered around psychology, social issues, enjoying life, making jokes
  • They will defend each other
  • They will help each other
  • If they don’t like something they will find a subtle, polite way to let you know
  • During the first five minutes their main goal is to find out if you have a girlfriend
  • During the first ten minutes their goal is to find out why you are a teacher
  • Whereas men will often try to impress you or will pretend to already know something, women tend to laugh off any mistakes they may make, which is in itself a great way to learn something new, and some humor makes a mistake more memorable and more easy to avoid

I cannot but grudingly conclude that we, men, are lazier, more careless, and so afraid of making a fool of ourselves, that it seriously hampers our academic performance, and that women are a lot more fun to teach.

Dedicated to seven sweet Slovenky I had the privilege to teach this morning.

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