Thursday, October 18, 2007

My favourite class this year.

Yesterday.. last teaching day for year 12s. Hooray! I had my ESL class for a double, and the only constructive thing I got done was to hand out about 7 practise exams for them to do over swot vac. (Had to explain to them what swot vac means. Sometimes English slang goes over their heads.) For the rest of the lesson we took photos.... many of them. I was snapped with every kid individually, then in group shots, pairs... on and on it went. Then I had to sign everybodies dresses and shirts. I personalised most of them, but they all ran along the lines of
"Put down that calculator and pick up a book. It'll save you from losing your personality." (That was for a kid who wants to be an engineer.)
"English = Good.
Maths = Evil."
"A book a day keeps nerdiness at bay."

I'll miss my year 12 ESL class. It's ironic, because when I was given my teaching allotment at the end of last year I wasn't all that enthused about having to teach them. But fortunately, a lot of these kids are absolute idiots, which is always entertaining. ESL (English as a Second Language) kids are usually very good at Maths and Science, because numbers go across language boundaries and so they can understand what's going on more easily than in a more language based class. They catch up after a couple of years of being surrounded by English, but Maths is always their first love.

They caught on quickly that I'm allergic to all forms of Maths, (maybe because I told them so... see? I told you they were smart), and every now and then they'd co-ordinate themselves. I'd be writing something educational on the board, turn around and they'd all be waving calculators in the air. Of course I'd immediately put my index fingers together in the sign of the cross warding off evil and say "Back! Back! Put down those Devil's machines!!"
Or I'd be raving on about a novel we're studying, and I'd use a word like "estimate" or predict". Someone, usually Ali or Ilan, would point out that I'd used a Maths term, so obviously Maths was good for something.... I'd reply that they must've stolen it from English.
Or the time that I was waiting for some of the kids to arrive, and I was whingeing about having to wait for them. Where were they? Ilan replied that they were walking to class. "But you should see them RUN when it's spesh!!!" (Specialist maths... the hardest maths ever.)

It was a very small class, only 10 guys and 2 girls. There were three from Israel, one from India, one from Italy and the rest were from China. I don't know why I'm using the past tense. They're not dead. But they are now pretty much in the past, and they were a funny, very likeable group. They'll be in my list of the list teachers keep in their heads of memorable classes.


lightening said...

I think my year 12 English teacher was glad to see the back of us. Not me, of course. She loved me! LOL.

I've tagged you for a meme - go to my blog to find out all about it.

Scott said...

Don't worry - my mainstream English kids didn't know what Swot Vac was either. I too have moved into past tense - it's amazing how quickly they fade into distant memory! Come Monday they'll all be back though!