Archive for December, 2010

The good things

My sister is here, and that’s good. I had an excellent Spanish work-out on top of the pleasure of a close friend’s company, and I’ve begun planning our big trip.

Also, Wednesday is a one-class day and it was a good one!

Two students in my junior high class came to ask me questions about an assignment before class, and it developed into a larger discussion of their reading habits and school in general.  At the end of the last level, these two girls bought books from me with their earnings throughout the class (muchísimas gracias, Sra Hagar), and they talked to me about the books, how hard it was because the words were so small, and how, for one of them at least, it was her first attempt at an English book of this size.  I encouraged them and told them that it was absolutely okay to take it slow and even put them aside for a while and come back.  These kids are under a lot of pressure, and the main focus of the level I’m teaching is to keep them talking and work on writing.

I’m fortunate to have a small class that is rather outgoing for middle-schoolers, and some days they really crack me up.  We played a somewhat complex game today and it entailed asking some surprisingly hard questions about water.  The quick team was giving each other blatant hints with a little help from me, and I flagrantly cheated to help a girl on the laid-back team.  They all asked for help with problem words, which is always preferable to slowly struggling or slurring past words as students so often do.  I definitely laughed out loud more than once, and silent skinny Frank smiled at least one time.


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Decidedly lowbrow

Dick jokes, everybody.  That’s where this post is headed, just so you know.

It started innocuously enough in my younger class, when I showed them an infected bug bite on my hand and they alternately recoiled and tried to fix me.  One boy Jay said, “Teacher, you have to — this — and on it, and it will okay.”

It was hard to recommend a good correction for this sentence.

As a sidebar, this is pretty typical of communication with many students: there are lots of gestures for unknown vocabulary and decent connecting language.  It could be worse!  To resume, “this” was peeing on the bite, and to drive the point home, a few other boys had to jump up and demonstrate as well, illustratively grabbing their crotches.  One added (or was it Jay again?) that his sister had told him so.

Then I had my second class which was wonderfully responsive and breezy, although I was feeling a little feverish from the room’s heater and the bug bite.  Afterward, I graded homework where I found the two gems in the pictures.

This was a translation exercise, and it should read "My little brother really doesn't like cockroaches." Suffixes are so important.

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Just before Halloween, someone gave my head teacher a pitchfork for her desk.  It struck me as so appropriate, especially since it’s such a small and silly thing, suitable for a bureaucrat who can’t manage.






Here you can see my scooter flirtatiously glancing at another scooter.  I’ve decided she’s a girl, but I haven’t settled on a name.










Some elevators are very advanced here; so much so that it’s possible to strike against the Rebellion from inside of one.

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