Amparo Bertram (spacealien_vamp) wrote,
Amparo Bertram
spacealien_vamp

Being in possession of information, always a good thing

Today I started out by requesting a school calendar for the year, since from last year's experience I doubted I'd get one unless I specifically asked. If I'm reading it correctly, the farewell/welcome party will be held next Friday. And unless I'm mistaken, it will be at the (Japanese-style) grill down the block from the school. (Gee...a grill...how lovely. What do you want to bet they don't get many vegetarian customers?)

Now that teachers are assigned to all their classes, they've started having planning sessions to coordinate what they will be teaching. One teacher came up to me to discuss our class together.

Teacher: Here is the book we will be using. I don't think it will be too hard. Have you used it before?

Me: <looks at book titled Window on Britain> ...No.

Teacher: I want you to mostly handle the class by yourself.

Me: I don't know anything about Britain.

Teacher: Written?

Me: Britain. I don't know anything about Britain.

<looks at first activity: "Name some towns and cities in Britain and mark them on the map.">

Hello, American? Sure, it's embarrassing how little I know about other countries, but hey--science major. Show me a cell and I'll name its parts for you. A foreign country? Not so much. Besides, this school does have a British ALT, and it's not me.

Teacher: Here's the answer book.

Me: <sighs>

I was consulted on part of the planning session between two of my other team teachers, who will each be teaching a different section of a class that uses the same textbook. At first they asked my opinion on motivating students to speak by giving them stickers on a sheet every time they volunteer in class. (They then show their sticker sheet to the teacher at the end of the term to be included in the grade.) This is used very frequently, though I don't particularly like it because A) the teacher has to have a lot of stickers all the time, and B) I really don't want the students thinking that there has to be a reward in order for them to speak in class. They should be expected to speak.

Eventually the teachers decided that, instead, they would reserve a few minutes at the start of every class for talking directly with the students, as kind of a warm-up. They would also organize three large speaking activities (show & tell, skits, and speech contest) throughout the school year, and since everyone would have to participate in those events, everyone would get speaking practice. That would take the place of sticker sheets. I like that idea a lot better.

Since my fairytale class has been discontinued, I offered to use the materials I had available for it in the other third-year classes instead. They seemed to like the suggestion, because it went along with the skit project they want to try. (For example, students could act out a fairytale.)

I found out the number of students enrolled in each class. The incoming freshman class of English majors is small this year--only 30, in contrast to the usual 40.
Tags: school
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