Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Where's my classroom?
I think I should have that printed on a sign and hang it around my neck. Yesterday was the first day of classes for me. I got to share the other teachers' classrooms. It was OK considering there were no scheduling conflicts.
Today was a little different. My first class went terribly. I asked about my class. "You don't have a classroom?" "No, I wasn't given one." This led to me going to the head office and being shown a closet with chairs. No, I can't have class in a closet--there's no blackboard. I was then taken to a large conference room. As I was getting set up in the conference room, I was told by my boss (the nearest boss anyway) that this would not be my classroom. I can just go to the class homeroom. Well, where is that??
By the time I arrived and the students arrived, we had a whole ten minutes of introductions. Fun times.
It didn't end there either. I had four more classes that were delayed by trying to find a suitable classroom. And that wasn't even the worst of the problems...
My grade 9s. What is wrong with these kids? I can't get a sound out of them. Not in English or Chinese. I had my Chinese co-teacher in the room today. She told me I was talking too fast for them. But I continually asked the question, "Do you understand? Yes, no, maybe?" I never got a response...not even a nod or shake of the head. These kids are lifeless. I've decided to baby them until they talk. I'm going to treat them like my year 1 students last year. I will hold up flashcards and word cards and have them listen and repeat as a class. And if they complain, maybe they'll start talking. I even wrote on the board today: "This is a speaking class. If you don't talk, you will fail!" That didn't get any response either. I'm so glad I have other classes with students who can communicate in some ways.

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