17 October 2006


Teaching Blips

I have to admit that I did something really terrible in my beginner class and learned an invaluable lesson. I'd taught my students how to ask questions (who, what, when, where, why, how) and as homework assigned them to write 3 questions of each type. After doing a warmer in class and getting used to hearing/speaking English again, I asked them to write 1 of each type of question on the board. My horrible, terrible thing: I laughed when I saw some of these questions! For example: "Why is your dog?" Now, was this student using the "is" of identity, the "is" of predication, or the existential "is"? I'm going with the existential "is". In truth, this student didn't make a mistake, oh no no, he was asking a very serious and philosophical question about the reason this dog existed. Why does your dog exist? A very noble question, indeed. Another student asked "Why is your mother special?" I giggled at this one, but was able to explain my laughter by explaining that "special" can mean retarded. Yea, I'm a horrible horrible person. So the lesson I learned is NEVER EVER look at the homework for the first time in class! From now on, I'll wait until I'm in the sanctuary of my own room and laugh until tears roll down my face without shame. To tell the truth, we teachers have gotten into the bad habit of sharing homework over soup after class and giggling together. Yes, really bad form, but there's really not much else to do except stare at the traffic lights.

So now I leave you with a story that a student from last year wrote (last year's volunteer left this for our enjoyment, I'm sure):

Paty knew a boy but he had had a girlfriend. My friend was working in company he all days he give gift her. But one day he went a buy flowers for her and he met with a friend, and he say that was going with girl very nice. Paty had known a sister of boy and they had be friends. Paty had met an earing in the t-shirt of boy. And this earing had be of your best friend and she didn't say nothing he. Two best friends had go with same boy. End.

Hopefully I'll meet an earring on the way home...

you guys are nuts . . . totally nuts, but then i kinda knew that.
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