This morning I decided (since I now have two solid weeks of teaching under my belt) that I would try conducting a lesson unprepared. So I gleefully spent my morning in McDonalds, eating Egg McMuffins and abusing the coffee refill policy. This was a mistake. Whilst not quite being the disaster you might imagine, my lesson was far from OK. It consisted of a standard introduction, 15 minutes talking about my family and a LOT of games. Whether this was what the teacher had in mind I’m not sure, but the painful expressions on her face suggested that my National teaching award might just have to wait until next year. After learning my lesson (no pun intended), I spent the next hour frantically planning for my second class. This, thankfully, went much better and I was able to really enjoy myself. I have uploaded a couple of photos that I got their teacher to take below (These include my very creased shirt: I do not own an iron, have no intention of buying one and would have no idea what to do if someone gave me one. That’s my line and I’m sticking to it).
The more observant amongst you may notice the slogan above the blackboard, which is by far the best one I have seen yet – “A willful man must have his way”. There are similar sayings in each classroom and each student is given a textbook with different sentences to read before each class starts. Whilst being easy to pick holes in, I actually think this stuff is good for children and sometimes think we could do with more of it back home.
On a lighter note, since my childhood consisted largely of playing sports and chasing girls (unsuccessfully) I feel I may have missed out on a key aspect of development: reading. Therefore, I have made a concerted effort over the last few months to read some of the classic novels of all time. With the notable exceptions of 1984 and Catch-22 (which were both excellent), I wish I hadn’t bothered. I am half way through Jack Kerouac’s ‘On the Road’, which is the biggest load of tripe I have ever laid eyes on. It was allegedly written in three weeks and all I can say is – it shows. I’ve moved onto ‘The Grapes of Wrath’ and if it isn’t any better it may put me off reading forever. Certainly none have come close to my favourite book of all time – ‘Bravo Two Zero’ by Andy McNabb, which to quote Alan Partridge “actually gets better with every read”.
More teaching tomorrow then dinner with the boss of our school. Is it too early to ask for a pay rise…?