November 03, 2004

Woke Up this Morning (no, it isn't about the election)

Took the dog for a walk and found a dead cat in the middle of the road; it had obviously been hit by a car. No one has yet to pick it up, I"m not sure who to call, but I'm not intrepid enough to touch it... How does this bode for the rest of the day?

I am back to earning a bit of money now; the woman who teaches English to the English speakers for the upper grades was asked to teach another class, and she just couldn't fit it into her schedule so yours truly has the job.

I came with a whole syllabus; a complete plan of attack for approximately 10 weeks. TEN WEEKS!!! I spend several hours on this task that I could have otherwise spent on more fun things like my correspondence (which I have been negligent about---I've approximately 12 more people to write!!!) or blogging...I didn't get enough blog reading in yesterday (alright, I want my brain hooked to the internet for instantaneous and continuous access. Then I'd have enough.) No, I spent it reading a book, developing a series of questions and tasks related to the book, printing it all out, and then this morning fighting with the copier at the school to print out six wonderful copies.

The principle found me just as I was done.

She wants something different. She suggested newspaper articles; discuss and read newspaper articles.


So all the work went whoosh, swoosh, down the drain. I did speak with the students and except for one girl, the vote was in favor of newspapers.

So, now I'm developing a new plan of attack.

Think, my friends, think! 40 minutes, six girls at all different levels of English ability (some have only just recently come from the USA, some were born in Israel, some have two English speaking parents, some have only one English speaking parent.) The girls are in grades 7 and 8.

I'm going to bring in an article on global warming. The picture doesn't look so hot ---or should I say the picture looks hot, hot, hot! I am bringing in that particular article and a second one as well. Help me think of a couple of good questions to ask to get them thinking and researching and talking. For their first assignment I want them to write an opinion piece on global warming but I'm on suggested topics. These are smart girls but their language in many cases are sorely lacking.

Suggestions? I wouldn't want the reports to be longer than a single page; even a paragraph or two would suffice.


I kick into crazy overdrive and go overboard on everything I do.

Posted by Rachel Ann at November 3, 2004 10:13 AM

When I taught ESL (english as a second language) to entering freshman at my university, I found that discussion of: lyrics of popular songs, current movies, magazine articles from the points of view that interested them netted the highest on time return of homework and class participation.

I remember one popular discussion was the influence of Britney Spears music and dress on young people and her impact on culture overseas.

I asked for at least one typed page, what I got in return was an average of 3 pages.

Not bad, still I wished that the topics loftier and meatier than Britney, who I personally don't care for. All in all, teaching was the best job I ever had. I miss it almost every day!

Good luck to you. Your enthusiasm shows and means that you'll be a great teacher!

Posted by: michele at November 3, 2004 06:48 PM
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