Thursday, October 11, 2013

I think I’m going to start writing daily posts.  Let’s see if it’s a snore.

I was utterly confused at school today.  I was supposed to have a class second period, so I went up to my classroom and started getting things ready.  Nobody showed up in the first few minutes, which never happens (though kids are late all the time, most kids are usually there by the time the bell rings).  Eventually two kids came in, so I thought everything was good, but then a ton more students came in who weren’t actually in that class.  I’m utterly confused, until a co-teacher tells me that they didn’t divide the classes like they usually do by level today, so this is one of the homeroom classes.  It was kind of nice because there were a bunch of students who cared about the lesson mixed with the kids who didn’t care at all, instead of a full kids who couldn’t care less.  Anyway, the class is chaos, and there are three co-teachers walking around.  One of them tells me that I should just put on a movie.  I’m super ambitious (it’s only my eighth week of teaching!) so I insist that I can handle the class (why should this class be any different than any other class just because all the levels are together?).  I soon realize that because this is a different class than I had planned on teaching, some of the kids have already had the lesson.  I attempt anyway, but then one of the co-teachers takes like 6 or 7 students to the adjoining office to discuss the exam they took (??) and it looks like more kids are going in the office.  At this point I know that the game I had planned isn’t going to be possible.  I take up my co-teacher’s suggestion and put on a movie.  Sister Act.  Like one of the best movies ever.  We only got through like 30 minutes of it though, and I have no idea when they’ll get a chance to watch the rest of it.

Nobody showed up for third period at all.  I eventually went downstairs to the teachers’ office and asked a co-teacher but she didn’t know.  She thought that maybe the second year students had a presentation, but I had seen other second year students hanging around in the other classroom, so who knows.

Fourth period: I continued with the speaking tests that I’ve been giving to the 3rd grade (9th grade-age) students.  The question I’m asking is “What do you want to be when you grow up?” and to get full points they have to give me at least 3 sentences.  Some of the classes have been great and some of them haven’t said one word.  This class was difficult to grade because the kids abilities ranged so much.  None of them understood they had to speak for 3 sentences, so some only gave me one sentence, while some only gave me one word.  Fortunately the speaking test makes up a very small part of their midterm grade in English, so I don’t feel like I’m ruining a kid’s life when I give a bad grade on the speaking test.

Lunch was actually awesome today: chicken salad with caesar dressing.  I ate it with rice.  Obviously.

I played the film Sister Act for fifth period too.  Apparently it’s kind of a thing to play movies for the classes on the day after they finish their midterms.  I’ll give the poor kids a break.

Sixth period: More speaking tests.  This class was pretty low level so a lot of the kids didn’t understand the question (though their teachers should’ve prepared them) or only gave me one word responses.  I’ve been showing the kids the movie “Mean Girls” during the class (the kids watch a movie while I interview each kid for 2-3 minutes).  Hopefully they’re not basing all of their American school impressions off of this movie.

This evening I went to a coffee shop (one of about ten million in my city) to meet a Korean English conversation group.   I had found out about the group through a Korean friend, and this was my first time attending.  There was 7 people there, who all looked to be in their 20s and 30s.   We all went around the table and introduced ourselves.  I tried to remember all of their names, and it definitely helped that two of them went by shortened versions of their names.  We read two articles and then talked about them.  One of the articles prompted a discussion on travel, which was pretty interesting.  I made plans to meet with them the following week.  Super excited to be able to talk to Koreans!!!

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