<---- my TB 5B class (none absent!)
Since starting to work here, I have a new-found love of Sundays.
Yesterday I had my first of forty classes with my early learner kidlets. There were seven of them, six boys, one girl. All of them were great except for one kid who looked like he'd been stuffed by a blind taxidermist and propped up in a seat. He was so blank it was kind of funny in a sad sort of way. I did "Hello! What's your name?" chain around the room, having the students asking and answering. When it got to him, he just sort of stared and Lily had to prompt him. It reminded me of someone with stage-fright - someone so freaked out he couldn't even whisper "line!!".
They're so very cute, those kids. I have one boy who must love his name a lot. You say hello to him and he jumps up and cries "Hello Andy!". Ask him "What's your name?" and he, again, pops up and says, "Hello Andy!".
While it's fun, it's also a helluva lot of work. If you pause for 3 seconds, you have to spend 30 to get them re-focused and back on track. Poor Lily has her work cut out for her. Early learner classes should have two assistants, but she'll be the only one. Rudy was helping for a bit, though, which was awesome. Some things take so long... one hour just isn't enough time. Giving homework and making sure they put the worksheets in their folders can take 10 minutes alone since you basically have to do it with them on an enlargement. You also have to get them moving and doing things while you mess around with flashcards or whatever on the board or around the room. There are numbers and letters on the floor, so I'd just go "Okay, everyone stand up. Hmmm... WHERE'S GREEN?!" and they'd all race around as I scramble to arrange resources for the next portion of the class. "FIND 4! Where's 4?" etc. Andy almost dropped his pants when I asked "Where's red?". Apparently he has red long-johns. LOL Lily caught him before he could, though. Going to class, I look like Leon (sans tuque, plant and sunglasses) with my massive case of resources: tapes, flashcards, roll-up laminated printing lines, pictures of Noddy and his pals, laminated worksheet enlargements, activity cards, etc.
I didn't have another class til the afternoon, which was my class of 14-15 year olds (class picture above). The unit topic is Movies, so we had a blast with that. I'd just gone out the day before and bought a few DVDs, so I brought the sleeves in. Their homework was "The Last Starfighter... what do you think the plot could be?". One girl (the one on the far right in the photo) came up with a brilliant plot that would make a kick-ass movie: it was basically The Big Lebowsky meets Hard-Boiled. They discussed agreement/disagreement, and brought back Making Excuses from last unit, and did interviews with one another in the future progressive (hard as hell). Had a lot of fun with it, anyway.
Then... had 1.5 hours of "English Corner", which is basically a social style venue where conversive Chinese chat with foreigners. It was at the hotel near the school, and we ate for free, which was alright. However... the restaurant was playing "The Sound of Music" on a big screen... which was not okay. Actually had fun, though. It was the DoS, Michelle and I there with four Chinese university students.
Today was mostly crap. My morning TB 2B class just sort of went "bleh" at the beginning... and it didn't really turn around. They have a show class (*cough* I have a show class *cough*) in 4 weeks. That'll be a blast... a 1-hour "this is what your kids learned" class (which could go completely to shit if they freeze up or just don't focus) and then parent meetings. Then I observed Nick's 6-7 year olds. I will be getting the same level class as he has next Saturday or Sunday. Should be alright, but my hours are booked solid at the moment. After that, I had my other TB 2B class, and I think I've hit the limits of their abilities. They were dubbed a problem class when I took them over 9 weeks ago, but I had hope. I still retain some hope... but not a great deal. They spent 45 seconds attempting to locate Canada on a map, placing it in every continent (including Antarctica) before choosing the right country. They only got it because they were running out of countries after Uzbekistan and Finland. I was just relieved when they got China right off the bat. ... then one kid points out Argentina. What the hell?! They can't find the US, but this guy knew where Argentina is. Quite funny.
Anyway... the weekend is over. Now I can look forward to two days off, then right back to the grind. This week I'll have a lot more planning to do with these two new classes. Oh, and I might be playing street hockey with a university club on Tuesday. My VIP university students invited me to play with them, so we'll see how I'm feeling when Tues rolls around.
That's it for now. Hope everyone had a good weekend!