15 October 2009

Teaching progress

I couldn't let this cuteness go to waste! This is a video of my CE2 students performing "The Numbers Blues." In regards to my dancing ability, if you can't say anything nice.... :-)

While my first day of teaching was off to a rough start, I must say that I kicked some primary ASS my second and third days of teaching!!! 

...and I mean that in the gentlest, most non-violent way possible!

Tuesday I taught at Ecole Elémentaire Van Gogh, which was an older age group (9 - 11 years old) and consequently better behaved, with the exception of the student who thought it would be funny to adorn his name tag with a vulgar phallic representation.  In the space of a millisecond, my face must have gone from horrified to amused to stern.  I don't know how I managed to swallow the fit of laughter, but thank God I did. For a few terrible seconds I had no idea how to handle the situation, but swiftly recovered, ordering him to copy the English phrase "I will behave respectfully in English class." 20 times on the board.  Such an old-school punishment, I realize that, but it worked! The rest of the class fell silent very quickly when they realized I meant business. Other than that, my four classes at Van Gogh were very successful. The kids seemed to take to me very well, and were eager to respond to my lesson.  I also showed them photos from my life in America, to which they responded enthusiastically.  When they saw the photo of my house with my six year-old Chevy Cavelier parked in front, the class responded with gasps of awe "C'est un Ferrari! C'est cool!" I didn't correct them.  Anyone who wants to think I drive a Ferrari is okay by me! They were also especially fond of the photos of my dog, Sherlock, as well as the photos of my family.  Without fail, each class wanted to know everyone's name.  I was also thrilled that I had decided to reinflate my globe and give it another go, because it worked beautifully, just as I had originally imagined it!

Thursday I was back at La Plaine, the school that had caused my Monday meltdown.  There, I unveiled a new strategy of using different funny voices when drilling my students, so they don't get tired of hearing the same phrase over and over again.  Suddenly, everyone was desperate to participate, because they couldn't wait to hear what funny voice I would come up with next, and they had so much fun repeating the phrases, they had no idea they were learning English in the process!  I also taught my CE1 students "What's Your Name," and my CE2 students learned "The Numbers Blues." These songs have a pop/rock feel, and seem much more contemporary than a lot of the ESL songs I've heard, and they were massively successful.  My kids quickly picked up the words, and were delighted when I invited them to stand up and dance it out. While I consider it a very successful day, this is not to say that I didn't experience difficulties with the students.  Gilles did have to come into my classroom again to quiet my kids down, and advised me to send problem kids out of the room, which I ended up doing twice.  The La Plaine kids, cute as they are, are a handful, and I hope I'll learn how to effectively handle them as they test their limits with their new teacher.

Overall, I feel like I've recovered so much confidence, and I'm actually looking forward to my next lessons!  Perhaps I can promise them rides in my Ferrari as an incentive for good behavior.


  1. Haha that video is some seriously good news. I am particularly fond of the little boy who runs out in front to do a quick butt wiggle, and then darts back into the masses again.

    Congrats on your teaching success!

  2. Thanks, that's seriously one of my favorite parts too!!!

  3. Haha, I love that video. I want to be in that class :(


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