Friday, May 12, 2006

Being a teacher is fun

A lovely morning class at the technical school- although I haven't left yet so there's still a good chance I'll be verbally sexually harrassed on the way out. Actually that's only hapened once but given that it's spring, ninety percent of the students here are males between the ages of sixteen and thirty and I'm now wearing short sleeves, the staring and not so whispered comments have started to become a pretty frequent occurance. And also the whole building smells like BO.

I really like teaching the students here sometimes- it's fantastic to work with young people who think everything you tell them is cool and interesting, even if it's just 'in Australia it's really hot in December' and they just soak up the language in a way adults just can't, really. Also they've got that young persons's enthusiasm for activites, which is to say that sometimes they look at you like you're the most boring thing they're even seen and sometimes they have so much fun they forget they're learning at all.

Today I had the brainwave to mix up the groups so they were not sitting with their usual friends and asked them to tell the group how to do something, even something simple. Just the right thing to say to a German... I also told them that anyone speaking German in the ten minutes would have to buy me an ice-cream- in Spring they become the national currency- and amazingly, it worked. Even those who are reluctant to speak spoke, and some who are slow speakers but enthusiastic had the chance to speak with no-one interrupting them.

One group were laughing so hard, presumably at one member's attempts to get around my 'keep it above the belt rule'- totally ineffective I might add- that I almost didn't recognise them from the surly students I had last week. Another student called me Miss T*rsh, at which I told him off, and then he asked me heaps of questions, calling me Hanna. I think it's just so exotic to them to be able to call teachers by their first name- crazy kids.

One of my pre-reading activites was to write down four words connected with a country. Two samples of words for America:

Area 51, white house, war, Bush

highways, big country, Statue of Liberty, freedom

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