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"Special" Classroom Moments

So I recently have gotten a few "hints" that I am not telling you guys enough about how the actual teaching is going. Please do not take the following as examples of what happens all the time - but it should be noted that the following are true stories. Laugh to your hearts content.

I let the students choose songs to bring in and listen to in class. They had to bring the lyrics with them, and I said I would go over the vocabulary or idiomatic expressions they didn't understand with them. Things that are bad: that idea. No, in all seriousness, it was a great idea, but get ready for the good part. The first class brough mostly rap and pop with them. I had to explain lyrics from a song that described a decently explicit sex scene. Someone else brought the new Gwen Stefani music ... if you don't know her music, let's just say she uses alot of ghetto terminology. It also included the phrase "I'll meet you at the bleachers, there's no teachers." Ah, nothing like useful vernacular. One of the best ones was in the song "Smells like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana. The refrain goes something like, "A mulatto, an albino, a mosquito, my libido - Yeah!" I have never in my life been happier that cognates exist. (A cognate, for my special friends, is a word that is the same in both languages.)

Next exciting experience. You know how in those old movies the teachers are always on this platform at the front of the room? Those platforms really exist here. Except they are mostly just plywood and two by fours. Also, they do not extend the whole length of the chalkboard. So there I am, writing away in English, and trying to talk to the class simultaneously and - Mom always said I couldn't do two things at once - I seriously fell off of the platform. I caught myself on the chalktray, but I definitely slipped. It was really classy. It was even better when everyone noticed.

Last, but certainly not least was today's exciting incident and my motivation for this blog. While teaching a lesson about the TV show Friends, I got up to add a new minor character's name to the list we had been creating on the board. But, I couldn't really go very far. Have you ever seen Sister Act 2? The one where they glue Whoopi Goldberg to the chair? Well they didn't glue me to it, but I was certainly stuck. My skirt had gotten stuck between the metal and wooden parts of the seat and didn't look like it was coming out anytime soon. So, I stood up (thank goodness it was a knee length skirt) and then picked up the chair with my left hand, walked to the board (luckily not far) and wrote the name on the board, brought my chair back to my desk, and sat down again. At least the class was polite enough not to laugh this time. Maybe this happens alot? Probably not, but oh well. I totally coped - and gracefully got my skirt out while they watched the next scene. I am so smooth.

So, I hope that was good for those of you who have been looking for some details from the classroom this is youf red-faced, clumsy, chair-loving friend signing off. Love always, ~Heather

Comments

Mom & Dad said…
Sounds like an exciting day.

I had my first day volunteering at a grammar school in an underpriviledged part of town. 20 kids basically trying to run wild. The teacher trying to heard them to work tables. Kids spiting or throwing up. Enter me.

Even in first grade, the biggest kid only came up to my waste. In a black suit, I guess I looked pretty ominous. As the teacher not in control, I started moving from table to table whispering to the students, "Don't you think you should be quiet? There may be a test on this and I don't want to fail. I'm counting on you to help me."

It worked on most.

There are five of us that rotate every Tueday. I may go back on another day too - just so the teacher isn't competely overwhelmed.

Keep you stories coming. I love reading them.