Thursday, October 07, 2004

If There's a Bright Center to the Universe, This Is the (Primary School) It's Farthest From

I just had my very first ever teaching experience.


It wasn't the fault of the kids. No, I got a room full of fifth graders, and they were rambunctious and talky, but I was expecting it and they were also all very friendly. There were the obligatory suckups, a small altercation involving cheating ("he looked in the book! I saw him!"), but hey, ya know?

The teacher is a rampaging harridan.

I ran - ran, flat out, a lot of the way - straight from my 8am class. I got lost on the way I don't even know how many times, despite having made the walk at least twice before. I showed up, you know, 7ish minutes late, and that was bad, so I was expecting her to be mad at me. That's not a big deal, although she acted like she wasn't mad. She was just evil to the kids. They went around introducing themselves ("My name's is Maria, I live in Madrid, I have one sister and two brother"), and the second kid to come around didn't know any more than My Name Is Alejandro. So she turns to me and says, very loudly and in English AND Spanish so everyone can hear,

"Now you will see who studies and who doesn't study."

That's great. Just great. Rather than using the American kid with no teaching experience to do, I don't know, Head Shoulders Knees and Toes, let's use her to SHAME everybody. GREAT idea. They'll LOVE her that way.

Then we did incredibly boring memorizationy-type stuff the rest of the time ("What year was the first Superman movie made?" "Nine...nineteen...eytythree?").

I don't know about you guys, but if I were a teacher and had a native speaker in a language class of little kids, I think I would use her to do things that were unique to that culture or at least fun. I think Head Shoulders etc etc or Simon Says would be great, because you get body parts (or commands, actions, whatever), it's interactive, and it's not going to make the kids hate me. This is just my thought. By high school, it'd get old, but I think ten year olds are at the right age to spend an hour jumping around in their seats learning stuff. Of course, I don't have a teaching degree, and I bet Becky is gonna come in here right now and lay the smackdown on me, but...

...I got mad that I was scapegoated against my will.

Especially since, for all intents and purposes, I'm closer to being one of them than a teacher. My Spanish sucks. I know what they're going through.

(By the way, I think my Spanish is better than her English. And then she lectured me because I translated something badly. Ha rumph.)

I'll go back. I have to go back. But maybe next time I will stand up for myself.


In my own defense, that was not ALL she did. That was just the way it started. Then she started singling out kids to pick on (I know you have to do that sometimes, but she was not nice about it) and made some not-very-nice comments about their learning habits. I don't like her. :(

In other news, the Chinese place had amazing dumplings.


Blogger Coral Clarke said...

I think your ideas sound great. Make her let you do them!

10/07/2004 7:49 PM  
Blogger Rita Xavier said...

I like the idea of Head Shoulders and other songs. I was going to comment earlier on that. Kids like songs, and it could help them learn. I even used that idea in Girl Scouts with Japanese songs.

10/07/2004 8:08 PM  

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