Monday, September 21, 2009

What grade are you in?

OK I know it's been like 80 years since I last posted.

Thursday I only had one class and I ended up having to teach it by myself. Some other teacher was sick so they had my co-teacher teacher her class for her. This is both good and bad.

Good: Because I get an extra $100/hour and I can do things the way I want to.
Bad: The kids can get a little crazy without a Taiwanese teacher there to whip them into shape.

At first I was kind of excited. My favorite student of all is in that class so I though it would be fine. Well, Doris didn't show up. I'm not sure why. Then on top of that, I ended up having like five new students. Two of them were prissy little teenage girls. We all know this means hell.

I got through the class OK though. I didn't go crying for help and since that kept dawdling we didn't get to the very last section of the unit we were doing. I assigned it as homework because it was something they could easily do on their own (and because they made me mad when all they would do was speak Chinese).

Oddly enough, the best kid in class that day was Ian. He was in my News Camp over the summer and saw me go crazy that one day when the kids wouldn't participate.

Friday was awesome. It was my second time with that new red book class and those kids really are as smart as I thought they were. And they're goofy.

They're kind of hard to keep control of but it all seems to work out. Some how we managed to get through everything each class even though it's only 1.5 hours and 15 kids.

Friday night I found it basically impossible to sleep. I went to be at 11 p.m. knowing I had class at 8:45 a.m. (New rule: No going out on Friday night. Maybe dinner or a movie now and then but absolutely NO BARS.)

I didn't fall asleep until 6 a.m. Of course, my alarm clock going off at 7:30 a.m. came all too soon.

Luckily, I was giving exams in both of my morning classes. This meant I need absolutely no energy at all. I just drank my coffee, ate my scone and listened to the kids talk and read.

I considered taking a nap during my break but decided it would probably be more detrimental to my performance then it would be helpful. Instead I crammed some pizza down my throat and tried to keep myself awake.

My other new class is still a little bit of strange territory. Those kids are wild and they're all on different levels of English knowledge. I don't really understand the purpose of "Junior Elite" classes.

Some kids come from classes that are 40 lessons behind the book we're in so for them it's like an advanced English class. Other kids come from well into Wow book so they're like 80 lessons ahead of where we are. For them it's like a remedial course.

I'm really not sure how to go about that and it makes for a really awkward teaching schedule. If I spend too much time one thing to make sure the younger kids don't get left behind, then the older kids go nuts and start talking a lot.

I think I'll get into a routine soon enough.

Saturday night I came home, ate some fried rice and passed out. I woke up a few hours later only to find out that I had a really bad headache. This headache quickly became a migraine and I have been in bed sleeping off-and-on ever since. Well, until 3 p.m. Monday.

Yes, I slept the entire day Sunday. First of all, my head hurt. Second of all, I really just needed the rest.

My body hates me right now.

I felt a little out of it at first but I managed to get through my classes today. My first class is really good at getting me pumped up about teaching. It's nice that my first class of the week is like that.

They take up a lot of energy though.

Today I taught them the QA: What grade are you in? I'm in the _____ grade.

After teaching this QA I realize just how difficult English is, especially in the pronunciation department — hell I know several adults who don't even say the word pronunciation correctly.

First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth. Those are the grades I taught the kids today and every one of them is hard as hell to say. All of my kids are in third, fourth and fifth grades. Those are probably the most difficult to say.

I spent a good 4 minutes just trying to teach this one little girl how to third.

Me: Th - ir-d.
Jenny: F-ir-th.
Me: Th. Th. Th.
Jenny: Fth. Fth. Fth.
Me: Th-ir-d.
Jenny: Third.
Me: Yes! Yes, that's perfect.
Jenny: Fthird.
Me: *sigh*

You win some; You lose some. I'll keep trying though.

1 comment:

  1. so jealous! i miss being a teacher so much.
    those ordinal numbers are really hard. playing that hands opening on the head game is fun for that. tess knows what it is.
    i don't know if you read sara overby's blog but she had a good QA game the other day. the kids all write a sentence on a piece of paper and make a paper airplane. they throw from the back of the room and if they make it to the board, they win. if not, she picks it up and then they all correct the sentences together at the end.