Well, I’ve made it halfway through my two-week teaching practice — I finished my fourth (of eight) lesson today (Saturday). Here are another 5 of our wonderful students, and one of my co-teachers (Anthony). Next week my teaching group will move to the higher-level students, and the other teaching group will teach the students that we taught this week.
Thursday: I was able to fit the monkey-selfie into my listening lesson (Teaching Practice #2 on wildlife photography). The students enjoyed the picture, but the planned discussion of who owns a picture taken by an animal required quite a bit of explanation (such as the word “own”, to start with).
That evening we had pizza delivered, and invited two of the other out-of-town teachers (living downstairs) to join us. This was a welcome break during a hellacious grammar lesson-planning night, that didn’t end until 2am. The challenge: coming up with guided discovery (questions to ask the students for them to discover the grammar rules themselves) for when to use the quantifiers some, any, many, much, a little, a few, a lot of, and no, within a 45-minute lesson. The correct use depends on whether the noun being modified is countable or uncountable, and whether it is in a positive statement, negative statement, or a question. I was able to create a guided discovery activity to do this, but it certainly wasn’t easy.
Friday: I gave the grammar lesson (Teaching Practice #3), and the students (and I) survived, but they looked a bit dazed by the end. Fortunately, I was able to finish lesson-planning for my Saturday lesson by 10pm Friday, so I got a decent night’s sleep.
Saturday (today): For my writing lesson today (Teaching Practice #4), I introduced myself as a Marketing Director in need of help for a survey. The students seemed to enjoy the bit of role-playing. The lesson (on writing about your opinion) went OK. The writing assignment was to answer the question “Could you live without social media?” I was astounded by the writing level of some of these “lower level” students — one student (who struggles with listening and even more with speaking) included the sentence “I treasure my leisure time”. One technique that worked really well was to have the students write on the board; this let me see their challenges (and good examples) quickly.
After teaching practice we had a working lunch (with delicious food from Leslie’s Mexican Cafe and Bakery), then a feedback session with our trainer and an introduction to our new trainers for next week. Then Anna, Deb and I hit the grocery store for food for the coming week. The groceries, plus the leftovers from today’s lunch, should get us through to next Saturday.
There’s a winter weather advisory for freezing rain and ice accumulation tomorrow (Sunday), so I’m planning on (a) sleeping in, (b) doing laundry, and (c) starting to take a look at the lessons I’ll need to plan for next week.
On a final note, here’s how you know you’re in a building that sees a *lot* of newly-arrived immigrants, students and visitors from Asia, the Middle East and Africa: