First day of classes

23 Aug

Today the semester began again, ending summer break. I went to three classes and did my self-introduction. My introduction is a powerpoint presentation interspersed with a quiz game. I am starting to hone what I think works best.

These intro classes are pretty much the only ones that I’m going to be in charge of running. After this week, I will be taking a VERY minimal part in the English classes. I’ll tell you what: it is going to be haarrrrrd. I love telling those little runts what to do and when to do it, hehe. I am, apparently, a control freak. It throws me off when my co-teacher shushes them or repeats my instructions or something, because I want to be the one to tell them.

Aqsa, I don’t know how you do it, sharing your classroom with someone else. But if you have any tips, feel free to help me out. Because I’m going to have to learn not only to share but to take a backseat role, and quickly.

Anyway. You’re probably wondering how the classes went. 

On the whole, I think they went very well. I had three lessons. I brought the cardboard cutout version of my introduction to the second-grade class, ie 14 year olds. They were kind of into it, sometimes talked amongst themselves, answered some of my questions but ignored others. I think they understood me, on the whole, and were maybe just a little bored.

The following 2 classes went much better. We used my powerpoint presentation. We played a quiz game, dividing 40 students into teams of 3: everybody had to stand up, and each team could sit down only if they correctly answered one question. We did the game three times within the course of the 25-min. introduction, and the kids were reasonably excited about it. Lots of raised hands and answers were given. I think the incentive of being able to sit down helped a lot.

After I finished talking about myself, each team came up with a question to ask me in English. Their vocab is pretty limited, so I got lots of baffling things like “what do you do every day?” (..……???) and simple things like “do you like tennis?” or “do you play sports?” I did, again, get the “do you have a boyfriend?” but surprisingly only from one class.

One question really threw me off. “Do you like my ball?” a boy asked, and then all the boys cracked up laughing. I was nearly mortified, but I’ve resolved to just roll with all the inappropriate things I’ve been told to expect. (“do you play sex?” is apparently a popular one*)

After both the co-teacher and I expressed confusion, the kid brought out a picture of some Japanese snack food that is called something that sounds like “my ball” but probably isn’t. I seriously doubt the kid was going for the double-entendre, if you’re wondering. They giggle at almost everything.

On the whole, not a bad way to pass the morning. Oh, how passé it all seems now. You have no idea how nervous I was last night. In fact, I could use a nap….

* What cracks me up most about this popular question is that the first thing students learn in English are three verbs: have, like, and play. Somehow they manage to zoom in on the only verb that does not work in this context.

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