this week, i was responsible for teaching about one hundred and twenty children about body parts. it pretty much resulted in the most fun saturday and sunday i have ever spent teaching. on saturday we played the hokey pokey for hours, and i took them all outside into the courtyard in the front of our school building and we made a huge huge hokey pokey circle. on sunday, we drew MONSTERS! then talked about their body parts
i think my favorite thing about these past few days of teaching is that it was so encouraging. sometimes i get really nervous about the kids not having much imagination because so often they are taught like robots, and praised exclusively for being able to regurgitate information. i shouldn't have worried, because they LOVED dancing outside and singing the hokey pokey (maybe because i was pretty much making a huge fool of myself in front of a bunch of adults, maybe because the hokey pokey is awesome), and their MONSTERS! are incredibly individual. i was rather expecting them to copy the basic boring monster that was in the book, and i think only one or two kids did.
this week is my teacher observation, where i will prepare a lesson and teach it to all of my coworkers- both the foreign and chinese teachers- and then they will critique me. i'm a little nervous, because i am not really confident in my ability to teach a cohesive and interesting lesson. after watching one of the veterans last week ( a man named jim who has an incredible amount of wisdom) i have become even more aware of my lack of things that take age and experience to accumulate.
i have been responding to my lack of experience by being slower, not rushing, and not letting myself feel harried by my students. i am trying to change the way i present myself, and i think that my past attitude has been one of "you're going to learn english OR ELSE!" and now i think i want it to be one of "hey, i want YOU to learn english if you want you to learn english". i am working on letting kids have a bit of leeway when they are goofing off, and having them adapt to more of a team mentality. this is the first time in my life maybe that i have felt like i need to become more consistent and reliable in my attitude and treatment of situations in order to be fair to people around me, especially my students.
i think this past weekend they really did well with my change in attitude. we were able to do fun learning things, then calm down incredibly quickly and get back to less fun, but necessary stuff. i am getting more and more hopeful about these kids and my ability to teach them, i really hope that the observation this week does not shatter me.