Classroom Calm

Pre-intermediate English at TEC is 12 classes long and meets twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Tuesday’s class was great as we discussed the different forms of the present tense. It was grammar heavy and exercise heavy but I was able to incorporate conversation and getting the students to talk to each other. Anything that can reduce my teacher talk time to around 30% is Wonderful. That includes videos and games as well as listening exercises. What I fine with listening exercises however is that at the pre-intermediate level they have to be super basic. Super basic and mean super boring. But because all of the students were there and they played off each other easily, the class passed quickly and people seem to have a good time.

Thursday’s class was a different matter Altogether. I walked into my classroom about an hour early as I wanted to go over the tents that I wanted to teach for the day and be able to teach it well. It was an exercise have a class again because after all what can you do for grammar be on teaching the actual sentence structure and use and hope that the students get it. But this time I actually incorporated a listening exercise in the form of a scary video to teach the past progressive and a telephone type sentence speaking game for the end of class in order to get some movement into the class and have class walk around. At least to the extent that they are able to give them the size of our classroom. It’s quite small. AnyWho, I was Blakely ready to teach when my first student walked in the class. I expected that we would be Or students in the class. My first student walked into the class precisely at 10 o’clock. We were amiably chatting away when suddenly at 10:10 we realized no one was there. Another 10 minutes rolled by, Then 15. At about 10:30 in the morning A second student came in. And there we stayed. I talk to students lesson that I had planned for for students and had to adopt some of the games to the New numbers. Hence the title of this weeks post. The classroom was incredibly calm. Still the three of us had a good time going through the past progressive watching a scary video I see scary tongue-in-cheek because how can an ESL video really be scary? It was another worksheet heavy class as we are still working through the tenses. And that’s going to be for a couple of more lessons as well because how can you learn how to talk if you don’t know the verbs to use. And how to use them. But in between the super boring worksheets we did some fun games like a grammar version of telephone. I would say a sentence in the tens we were studying and then the next student would say my sentence plus her own. The next person had to remember my sentence, the previous person’s sentence, and Add their own. Imagine it with five students and one teacher. It can be quite fun to see how people make things up. But I didn’t have five students.

What happened to my other students, You ask? Good question, dear reader. I knew that my Japanese student was not going to be in class. You see, the Dutch school system had a localized strike for the teachers. Not every school in the Netherlands was on on strike but somewhere. One of them was the school of my Japanese students daughter. As a result she had to stay home to take care of her daughter so she wasn’t going to be able to be in class. What I did not expect is that to other students would not show up. And there was no word. From either of them. I hope that everything is OK with them and that perhaps they had to go to work. They are self-employed people like me and that is entirely possible. It’s also possible that they didn’t like the course though I didn’t get that impression from either of them. Especially since they sent me the Homework that I assigned the previous class. I hope I get a chance to ask them in just a few hours. And hopefully I Can turn it into a teachable moment by using the past tense or the past progressive.

That’s all she wrote for this incredible installment. But stay tuned. As always there’s more to come.

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