M.A. Van Wey Travel & Photo


Summer School Shenanigans
April 8, 2010, 6:56 am
Filed under: Teaching | Tags: , , ,

Jennifer and I are currently in the midst of teaching a month-long summer session at school.  Jennifer’s teaching social studies to grades 1, 2, and 3, and violin to grades 4, 5, and 6.  I’m teaching grades 4 through 8 science.  I’m not a big fan of these older grades.  Grade 4 is alright, I had most of them as 3’rd graders last semester, and grade 5 is new to me but cooperative.  Teaching grades 6, 7, and 8 is much more challenging.  Older kids have attitude, are snarky and generally much more difficult to engage for me.  Last semester I was teaching grades 1-3 which consisted mostly of playing games and coloring pictures, a more difficult proposition for the older kids.

It’s all a learning process I guess.  Little by little I’m figuring out how to hold their attention.  This past week I decided to throw out the normal curriculum (which was a joke anyways), and took all my classes on nature walks around campus.  Despite the 106 degree heat they all seemed to be much more attentive than in the classroom.  I had each student find 10 animals and write about them, filling out a little data sheet as they found them.  Mostly they came up with ants, pigeons, geckos, dogs, and tadpoles.  In every single class I had at least one student yell “buffalo!”, pointing at another student.  Calling someone a buffalo in Thailand is basically calling them fat, stupid, and lazy.  A few called me monkey, so I obliged and made some monkey noises.

Hopefully soon I’ll bring a camera to school to capture some of the shenanigans.  Until then just use your imagination…Teacher Matt struggling valiantly in 106 degree heat to herd a group of crazy Thai kids around school looking for animals 🙂

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