More and more students (good thing) — one expected teacher out of the mix (bad thing).
Lots of nonsense from the director (bad thing) — new office mate (ok thing).
I’m excited about my advanced reading class. It’s a small group but a good mix — Brazil, Jordan, Mexico, India, Kazakhstan, Korea. They trust me to a point — why are we doing this is a common question. The answer I give seems to satisfy them. I’ll get them blogging by Monday. I set up a private blog for this class.
My low-intermediate grammar class has real potential. They listen and seem ready to interact with each other. I plan to put that into practice next week. I have to learn their names because most of them are new to the program and I didn’t teach lower levels last term. They are eager and even though I was sleepy this morning, they helped me get into a groove.
My last class is more of a challenge. They have decided upon a weird classroom organization — everyone huddle at two small tables — but I broke that up today. The young ladies are lovely. They outnumber the guys. They are just great. One male wanted to dominate the class yesterday, but by breaking them up and encouraging the quieter students, we achieved a good balance in today’s class. One thing that made a difference, I think, is that I used an example yesterday about speaking in one’s native language. The dominant language in that group is Russian (I didn’t let on that I still understand some Russian). I used an example with two Spanish speakers, which makes more sense, given where I am from (having told them). They were better today about not speaking Russian in class.
Almost all I can think about is my classes and the mechanics of work right now, but I have been paying attention to what is going on in wingnut world.
At least on local radio, it has been wall to wall about President Obama talking to school children and the attendant teacher materials supplied by the Department of Education ( a department that republicans have wanted to kill since the time of Bill Bennet but haven’t — so they just get guys who call teachers terroists).
The best line I heard about the parents who don’t want their children to even hear President Obama is that teachers could teach evolution or any other of the topics that the same old tired people complain about. Let’s use that time to teach about historic people like MLK or Thurgood Marshall or Cesaer Chavez.
Then when all the kids come back the next day, they can talk about Reagan, Newt and Rush. Oh and Hannity and Berry.