Monday, April 25, 2011

Learning. . .part 2

If you have not read Teaching...part 1, then go do that before you read this post.

One week later.

My roommate Jessica, gave me a little pep talk and helped me sort things out before class the next day. I was planning on talking to the student in private about his actions. The student I'm referring to is to the one that yelled at me. I was hoping for the best case, but also prepared for the worst case. I was going to ask him if there was anything wrong. Then apologize for losing my temper. But there has to be punishment. I was planning on making him give a speech about respecting authority. Here's what happened.

I'm waiting for class almost to begin. I ask to talk to him out in the hall. He starts out by saying he is glad I asked him to talk because he wanted to talk too. I let him talk first. He SINCERELY apologizes for yelling at me and talking to me the way he did. He was having a bad day and the teacher from the class that he has before mine made him very angry. The teacher is supposed to help them study for a big test, but instead told them to study on their own and played games on his computer. He apologized again.

A wave of peace filled me. I was so grateful that God had orchestrated things this way. I forgave him and told him if he ever wants to talk, I'm always willing to listen. If he ever needs help, he can call or email me. And if he's having a bad day, just don't come to class or take it out on me. And I apologized for yelling at him and losing my temper, explaining that no matter what students do, I need to respect them if I expect them to respect me.

End Story.

Writing Class.

The class is busy writing cover letters while I grade old argument papers. The three girls come up to my desk. The ones with the 0s and comments to come see me after class. They hand in their cover letters. The first thing one of the girls says is, "We know." I don't even get to put on my teacher voice or face. Just in case, we are not on the same page, I ask them if they know why I wanted to talk to them. They all nod with these goofy smiles. I ask them why. "Because this is not our work," the spokesgirl says. I sigh and nod. I then proceed to tell them the bad new. They get 0s and cannot make it up. This is not okay to do in America or anywhere. They must do their own work. It is NOT okay to cheat in my class. I will not tolerate it. Those goofy smiles have fallen from their faces and next comes the plea. The spokesgirl asks if they can re-do it and bring it next time. She ask twice I think. Both times get a no. Then panic is on her face. I assure her they will not fail the class. They have other assignments that can improve their grade. But if they continue to cheat, they will fail. I tell them I am here to help and all they have to do is ask. If they needed more time, they should have asked. They explain they were just lazy. They promise not to do it again.

Lesson Learned.

I think God prefers it when we go to Him with our mistakes. When we seek Him out to ask forgiveness. He is more than willing to give grace and mercy, but we have to acknowledge and lay our faults before Him.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Duck Couple

This little couple is the funniest little thing to me. They have a pet duck. They walk it around. It's like their little kid. Or dog. It's really kind of cute.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Teaching...part 1

The last couple of weeks I had to do some. . .disciplining in my classes. I guess, that's what you could call it. I try to keep my posts short, but the detail are kind of important.

About two weeks ago, a student in my oral English class kind of lashed out at me. At the beginning of class, I had kind of called him out about speaking not speaking English in class. I told him and the people around him that they would have to split up, hoping that they would speak more English. They are all proficient in English, so I wasn't really sure why they did that. Anyway, at the end of the class, I announced that the class was going to prepare for the following week. I encouraged them to be as creative as possible and we could do anything, absolutely anything, as long as we all spoke in English. Most of that class seemed excited. Except this one student. He then began to question me about what was my role, what was I going to do while they taught the class, why was I going to even be here, if they were going to teach the class, they didn't need me.

It's really difficult not to take things personally. I explained that this was a one time thing. I wanted to test their creativity. I wanted to give them freedom too because they don't always like what I plan for class. And I told him I would fully participate in whatever they planned. He just wouldn't have it. He started yelling at me. My heart quickly sank and rose. I was sad and hurt that I was being attacked so directly and completely humiliated and embarrassed. But then my temper kicked in. I didn't yell, but I raised my voice unneccessarily. I told him that he was not required to come to class and that my rules from the beginning of the semester were still true; if you don't want to be here or participate, don't come. I told him not to come next time if he didn't want to. It didn't matter to me. He kept saying they didn't need me. I kept telling him, this was a one time thing. They other students were clearly uncomfortable with it all and tried to get him to stop yelling. The bell rang and I told them I would see them next week.

Pause-Break in that story...

Last week in my writing class I assigned a How To paper. The students were supposed to write directions about how to make something or cook something. This week, I graded them and came across three exceptionally good How To papers. As you might have guessed, the three girls that had turned them in usually have less than average writing. Cheaters!!! I hate giving 0s. I really really do. But I had told myself that if I caught cheaters they would get a 0. So, I just wrote a note on the grading sheet that they needed to come see me after class.

Tune in later to hear what happened...

Friday, April 1, 2011

ya got me!

Well, today is April Fool's Day. I was unaware that people here or I guess students would participate in such a day. So, I had some questions about what kind of pranks I have done in the past and if I had any ideas about what they could do.

Anyways, class ended early. Most of the class went outside to hang out before their next class. I went to go buy a water bottle. I saw them bunched up under a light fixture down the hall. I decided to take a gander at what they were taking photos of and looking at.

As I walk up, I say, "What are you looking at?" and look up.

They all snicker.

I shush them because a door to a class in session is open and I can see the teacher eyeing us.

They point up, saying, "Look! Look!"

I look again, seeing nothing, but really thinking I'm missing it. I look at the other side and still nothing. So, I ask again what they are looking at. And that is when I'm 99% sure that they are fooling me!!!!

They bust out in laughter and I shush them and shake my fist at them!!! I know I've been pranked. Then I scurry off as the other teacher approaches to possible rebuke the class for being too loud.