Posted in Taiwan, tagged 3rd grade, 4th grade, 5th grade, 6th grade, Chang Long, funny, problem kid, songs, teaching on Tuesday, 23 November 2010|
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Last evening’s class was adorable. One kid I’ve fretted over since I started with his class in level one was remarkably responsive and so outgoing that I almost couldn’t believe it. He came right up to me during a patterns practice exercise, and even though he didn’t have the pattern down, I was able to practice with him one-on-one.
Even though there are 20 kids in this class, it’s starting to develop a real comfortable atmosphere. It’s a joined class of about eight originals, nine or ten kids from my old Kids Club class, and a few new ones. It took a while for them to get to know each other, but it’s coalescing and I have high hopes for this class. They really enjoy the singing and I actually find myself having fun playing it up with the dance moves.
One of the new kids is also the oldest one in the class, and he has the most confidence and spunk of all the students. The grammar point of the lesson was the object pronouns it and them, building from him and her in the previous class. To introduce it, I asked them if cookies was a boy or girl, and this kid answered “bogirl.” He’s a character.
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Posted in Taiwan, tagged da ban, people, wandering, Xinzhuang on Saturday, 13 November 2010|
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Occasionally, I run into students outside of school. Usually it’s slightly awkward for me as I struggle to remember their name out of the context of the classroom and their classmates, and sometimes, as in the night before Halloween, it’s awkward because I’m walking down the street with my roommates, carrying open beers and heading to a bar.
Less frequently, it’s awkward because the student is weird. This afternoon, I ran into a kid who I really only taught for three or four lessons, but who nevertheless always greets me loudly: “Teacher India!” He never says hello or good morning or anything else, only the teacher’s name. To be fair to the kid, he’s only been in English classes for four months or so, but on the other hand, he’s one of the best students in that class and it surprises me that he doesn’t try to branch out any farther. The encounter kept getting more awkward, since we ran into each other at a bakery I don’t even usually go to anymore and wound up going in the same direction almost all the way to my house. At one point, I stopped to pointlessly adjust my headphones just to fall back a little.
But there are also the great little run-ins, and after I lost Toby/Eric (he changed his name because Toby can sound like “pen-thief”), I saw Leah and her whole family. Leah is one of my favorites from Tara’s class that I’ve subbed for long stretches, and it was just sweet to see her, say hi and keep walking.
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Today I had my favorite class, and it went as well as ever. To top it off, I got two new students, twins called Herry and Jerry who evened up my return rate for that class. They must be twelve or thirteen, but they have the deepest voices in the class… but they still wear matching clothes and even matching glasses.
This class has 16 students, but there are only about 10 names between the lot of them! I have two Bellas, two Peggys, two Brians, and two Jerrys. On the bright side, I don’t have any ridiculous names like Pony! I only have to work on Herry, and I’ve had luck convincing students before (Toby was convinced his name was spelled Tobby before I told him otherwise).
Looking through my cell phone pictures, I found a few fun pieces of homework, so I’ll throw them up here without too much segue or explanation. For this first one, I’ll just comment that you always have one or two of those philosophical types in every class…
For the next two, those who aren’t philosophers are artists with the written word. Sometimes you don’t understand the art, but you have to respect the effort.
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