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Social Intelligence

An Incredible Showing of Social Intelligence

By Andrew Clattenburg


I was teaching a Wednesday/Saturday block 6 Seed 2C class in Vinh Phuc 1. The class is made up of five boys and three girls. Has you know they are at that age when boys and girls gravitate away from each other. We were twenty-five minutes into class when the reading is done then the co-operative book work learning begins. I needed to pick partners and one partnership is going to have to be a girl and a boy. I picked a boy to partner with Amy, and Ben laughed and pointed, so I changed my mind and I told Ben because of his poor social intelligence he is now Amy’s partner. Amy is a very strong student and I knew she would be fine, (I still spoke to her at the break). Ben refused to move, I said class will not restart till he moves, he refused. I asked him “do I need to get the CM? “He said “yes, “so I did. The CM took three more minutes to move him. I know you are waiting for the great example of social intelligence, show some grit its coming.

Now with the new dollar system we are only allowed to give out five dollars to a specific number of students per class depending on the size. With my Seed 2C class I was only able to give out five dollars too two students. I had three students who earned more stars than anyone else. The students were Ben, Amy and Evie. Ben had earned a lot of stars before the partner issue and even with a three-star deduction for poor social intelligence he still was in front.

With five minutes left we had just completed the speaking goals and it was time to hand out the APAX dollars. I thought no matter what I did the outcome was not going to be good. If I gave the five-dollar notes to Evie and Amy, Ben would think I am still punishing him. If I gave the five dollars to Ben and Evie, Amy would wonder why she put up with Ben. If I gave the five dollars to Ben and Amy, Evie would wonder why, because Ben showed such poor social intelligence. I decided like any good manger I would put the decision on someone else. I circled the three names on the white board and asked the class if these three students deserved five dollars and the class said yes. I then explained that I can only give out five dollars too two students, so we are going to have a vote. I handed each student a piece of paper and told them they had to vote for two people.

A few amazing things happened almost all at once. No one complained that only two students could receive five dollars. Everyone voted and the two girls won. This meant that one of the boys did not vote along gender lines but for the people he believed earned the five dollars. The most amazing part was Ben excepted it and left happy. The amount of social intelligence shown by the entire class was amazing. At the Seed 2 age level Apax dollars are everything and for the students to agree to a vote and except the outcome, I could not be happier.

Thank-you for reading the story of a Seed 2C class in VP1 in the end showing more social intelligence than some adults.


Kind Regards,

Teacher Andrew


#teachAPAX #Teaching #teach #tefl #tesol #travel #workingtraveller


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