Saturday, January 12, 2013

One of those "Oh yeah.. This is why I do what I do" moments

One of my classes I teach are a group full of very energetic twelve year olds.  In fact, they were the group of students in which I taught my VERY first English lesson to as soon as I started working.  The week before I started working.. I went to a meeting with all of the other English teachers from the same school as my students, my boss, and the president of the "Parent Teacher Association" from the school.  I had not yet met any of my students but was still required to go.  I was quite surprised and shocked when I sat through the two hour long meeting listening to everyone talk about how awful "my students" were and how the English teacher before me was let go because he couldn't handle the group of students I was about to start teaching. Literally over half of the meeting was geared towards my students and what I could do different to get them to behave and engage in the lessons.  Leaving the meeting I was a bit scared, overwhelmed, and nervous to go meet my "awful and misbehaved" students yet had a powerful "I can do this" feeling as well. After all..I did just graduate college with a degree in education.

Much to my surprise my first day of class was an absolute breeze. I LOVED it! I put on my stern and authoritative Jamie face and showed the students I was in charge yet I still wanted to have fun. Honestly, now I can easily say this very same group of students is my favorite (I know you're not supposed to have favorites.. But come on.. Sometimes you just can't help it!)

So lets fast forward a few weeks. I have now been working with this group of students for 3 weeks and today my lesson is about replacing names with subject pronouns and being able to pick out subject pronouns in sentences (Mary is a good student to She is a good student). Nothing too difficult. After I did some oral exercises with them, we got out our workbooks and did a worksheet to review.  Of course you can't have a successful English class without playing a game at the end! Today.. Our game was sitting in a circle on the ground playing telephone. (Remember that one? Someone whispers something in the first persons ear and they have to whisper it in the next persons until it gets all the way back around). I did a few examples and then I allowed the students to start the telephone *making sure they used a subject pronoun*  The first few were good and well structured sentences.  I called out 'last time' and my student, Nacho (yes that is he real name.. Not a nickname) asked if he could do the last one. 'Sure Nacho! Lets go.. we only have a minute left' as he was sitting next to me, and decided to start going the opposite way as me.. I would be the last one to get the secret. After waiting and listening to all the giggles and whispers, I lean over to hear the secret.. rushing because now we were 2 minutes past time..and then say the secret outloud without even thinking... "Jamie is an excellent teacher"  stopped.. realized what I said and a little piece of my heart melted...

I didn't even care that he didn't use a subject pronoun on that one :) 

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