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Getting there


Thursday, April 08, 2004

April 07th, 2004
Diary day one
Posted at 11:44 am

Having set up the lesson plan, corrected the papers the students gave to me, sitting here five hours later feeling tired
The students were great, first day and all that, but trying to tape the class made me nervous.
All the students were good at the note-taking, but when they didn't understand the icebreaker ( and the first class was at sea) they didn't ask me...so they didn't get the point about asking me...In teh second class i offered ask me phrases ("What does respect mean? drilled twice, so I said it means sonkei, then could you repeat that please, drilled twice, so I said It means sonkei, and then could you explain again, drilled twice, so I said respect means sonkei.) which seemed to clarify.
I had also realized my time scheme was haywire, so I took more time in the second class to explain the words "the same" for the icebreaker, and gave more examples of I like Chanel, 7-11 rice balls, I have a vodafone/ computer. I use mascara/contact lenses I do karate/ yoga etc., asking students to write their own versions before I explained the activity.
As usual it takes far longer to explain and set up an activity than the five-minute fill titles suggest...sigh.
At any rate more students in the second class understood and performed well. There is a tendency to go for the lowest common denominator in order to get more done, rather than focus on using a range of verbs or negotiating. In this respect i fear the ten dollars for five tasks, fifteen for more than five rule is working against the inclination of people who like to care about content. How many people can you find who don't go to school by train and like music?
I guess I really don't like handing out money all the time...I wish the students could motivate themselves....
If day one's goals were to set out rules and grading, to teach the mix and mill technique and train skills of note-taking, then it was good.
But I fear I mixed up my first class, with confusing parts. It is always better the second time round....