Saturday, October 11, 2008

Teaching; Reflections

I have eight classes, 20+ kids in each, 45 minutes every class period. After two days, I have seen all my students. I have introduced myself as Miss Betsy in front of them all, instructed them to write their names in BIG letters on a teepee-folded piece of paper, and directed the repetition of "Ello my nam iz…" more times than can possibly be counted. I will give rewards to those who keep their name cards the whole year, because I cannot possibly remember all the Margauxs and Axels and Maximes (boy's name) and Anaïses.

The key for my own success and sanity will be preparedness. For each class, I know I need to have 12 activities, ready-to-go to pull from my pocket, even if we only hit nine of them. Kids will take advantage of 10 empty seconds by chatting or flicking each other with their rulers. As soon as you turn to tell someone to shut his mouth, everyone's concentration is lost.

I also worry about gaining the respect of the teachers at my schools. I'm younger, and have officially been teaching for… mmm… two days. I don't have a closet-full of tried and true teaching methods, so I'll have to develop them. I hope the other teachers don't snicker at me along the way.

So here's to 9 months of getting back to the basics of my native tongue, drawing and photocopying so many worksheets I begin to dream about them, and making both kids and adults respect Miss Betsy.

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