China Team Journal

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Everyone Qualifies

Today our entire team qualifies as good teachers!! We all are feeling that we know little about these students and how to reach them. We taught three sessions in the morning and three sessions in the afternoon.  It felt like a long and difficult day. The students we had today were much lower than the “English Lovers” and we had not expected that. In the morning, Alyssa and Marcia had groups that, though low, were trying to do their best, whereas Patricia had 14 young men who seemed that they did not want to be there. They acted silly. Many did not bring paper or pens to class.  They played on their cell phones and they were disrespectful as learners.  It was frustrating to try to reach them.  In the afternoon the experience was reversed as Patricia had a respectful, though low class and Alyssa and Marcia had students that acted like they did not want to be there with poor, immature behavior. These students were secondary students in their late teens.  All three of us were discouraged by today’s teaching experiences.  We discussed our concerns with Julia and Baoli who were both supportive and understanding.  We talked about having an adult helper in each class who could translate and keep the behavior under control. We also talked about having students put all cell phones on a table away from the work area and about not dividing the classes by ability. It seemed like all the lowest students were put together which makes the class impossible to work with without a Chinese translator. Julia suggested that we might replace these classes with ones who might do a better job but we all agreed that it would not be fair to those who did try to do their best. We decided, however, to shorten the day to two periods in the afternoon, rather than three since that was an added on period and many students left before the last session. As inexperienced teachers, we all had our struggles to make the time worthwhile. Julia assured us though that the rest of the week would be better as there would be higher level students.