I had been warned by a number of people that have worked as English teachers in the past that my level of English will be affected by daily exposure to people that mangle it despite their best efforts and intentions. I cannot say that that has happened just yet but neither can I say that I find the process too rewarding. Rather I find it painful listening to some of the awful constructions put on the language by some of my poor students. I have empathy with them but it is undeniable that I do ultimately resent having to listen to some of the excruciatingly bad English. Most of the worst is spoken by some of the brighter, more confident students, who both over-estimate their own ability at speaking the language and under-estimate the difficulty, the Protean nature, of the meanings and figurativeness of English.
This sounds churlish, I suppose; you might point out that my efforts in another language might provokes similar pain in another. That is true but my French is better than the English of probably 90% of my students (which is no surprise as I have far greater opportunity of speaking a second language than they have), and neither have I ever taken a French class, other than at school. I learned it on my own and my mangling of the language took place in a free-range environment, in shops, in bars, on the street, on public transport, in bed even. No poor teacher ever had to suffer on my account.
My first couple of months of teaching has taught me one thing, that most education and training is irredeemably compromised and necessarily shoddy. And doomed to failure. We do what we can but as Bernard Shaw infamously said of teachers, 'those that can't, teach'. There is a greater justice in that slur than is widely imagined. Most teachers, even with the greatest will and talent in the world are incapable of teaching most people. Only little slivers of knowledge will permeate the average student's conscience. We mustn't grumble all the same.