Ugh, good grief, you guys, kids are assholes. No, that’s not right. They are just too energetic for my liking: at 10 they can understand enough English to try talking back, and they are hyper enough to need to be always out of their seats. I am just not good at managing them and all that energy!
How did this all come about, you might ask. Good question; I’m not supposed to start until Thursday, I hear you say. Well, the second class I was to observe tonight is taught by the mini-regional manager. Let me emphasize it is mini-region, not mini-manager, because he is big and big. He was a tank commander in South Africa before this, but amazing with the kids. Crazy, right? Anyway, he told my boss this afternoon that I was going to teach some part of his lesson I was scheduled to observe. Surprise!, but a pretty good one, since I haven’t seen real Taiwanese kids in a classroom since I got here, let alone worked with them.
I got to the school about an hour and a half ahead of time because prepping lesson plans takes me forever right now, and when the commander showed up, he just told me to prep all of it, so I did because you do not say no to that guy on your third day around. When it got to be his class, I sat in the back and watched until the break, at which point we walked over to the teachers’ office and he asked if I wanted to take a turn. I truly did, so that I could practice but still have a strong presence in the room, so we went back and I introduced myself and started the grammar part of the lesson. Boy, did I ever make a hash of that, but I still had the kids relatively well in hand. When I had gone around in enough circles, I had them get out their next book and begin the conversation, which also went okay, but when we tried to go into the song, it just went all wrong and also we had begun to run out of time, so the commander took back over to run down the homework review and the Chinese teacher took me outside to tell me her thoughts.
She was very supportive and rather complimentary, while still having some good things to say (which was more than I could do at the time!) about what I had done. When the class was done, I went back downstairs with the South African teacher and he also gave me some tips and encouragement, so I’m definitely working with a good crowd. It’s just so hard to apply everything and take into account the random nature of young kids.
Also, I need a digital watch.