Sunday, January 18, 2009

Teaching takes patience but can be fun

The first two weeks of teaching for the new year were *tries to find a word* ok I guess. There were some challenging and fun moments.

Some students were just really hyper (guess they weren't back into school mode as yet). My patience was wearing thin. After starting to feel like a babysitter, I had to tell off students in two classes. In one class some students were throwing pencils, etc across the room to each other during the lesson (I highly doubt they do this with their regular teacher!), and in another class the majority just wasn't paying attention and was noisy. Usually I can deal with students' not paying attention, once they don't disturb the class and distract the ones who are making a genuine effort to learn.

Points to note:

  • When correcting students it's best to speak in their language! So in this case, French instead of English.
  • There may be a few cheeky students who may comment on any errors made (e.g. grammatical) so be prepared! E.g. In my frustration I said ce classe instead of cette classe. This happened when I was telling one of the classes that I don't have to keep working with them and I can change classes. Turns out that my timetable had changed anyway, so I no longer have them. It's kinda sad though, because I had some really nice students!
  • Conneries is apparently a bad word lol. So while it will get the students' attention (get them to hush lol), the more politically correct word to use is bêtises. :-)
Kids say the darnest things! lol. For example, I had my 4èmes ask each other some ESL "Have you ever ...?" conversation questions that I found online. It was quite fun and got the students involved. E.g. Have you ever been on TV? fallen in love at first sight? picked your nose in public? eaten frog legs? (they said it's delicious...) etc. After the exercise, I asked them to create their own questions. One student came up with "Have you ever sucked a lollipop?" His question "appeared" innocent though because when I asked him to translate he said sucette. However, I heard one of the other boys in the class say something about Lil' Wayne's song "Lollipop". I couldn't stop laughing (ah yes, double meanings! Nothing like a little rap music to create an awkward class moment lol), and was like we will NOT be answering that question in class lol. One girl claimed she didn't know what it meant but soon said "ah oui une bit(t)e"!

Overall, I must say that I have been enjoying teaching. Singing with one class (to Maroon 5's "She will be loved"), answering "Have you ever...?" questions, working with the cinquièmes (Form 2 students - around 11/12 yrs old), etc. In general, I think I prefer working with younger children because they tend to be so enthusiastic! and I can be my happy, smiley self (which they respond well too). I hope there are more fun teaching experiences in store! :-)

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