Sunday, November 28, 2010

Riding Solo

Over the past two weeks I've started to teach a bunch of classes on my own. The two main English teachers I work with, Nana and Nana, have been sick or had to go to Tbilisi so I've been left to fend on my own. The first few classes I had to do this for were quite exhilarating and refreshing. I was able to add conversational exercises and review games to the classes to really reinforce what we have been learning. So much of our class focuses on reading and translating that it can be really monotonous to sit through it day in and day out.

In my 11th form class I created questions on slips of paper and gave each student one. For example, "Where do you want to travel?" or "What did you do for you last birthday?" or "What was the craziest  you ever had?" It was great to get my students speaking and to really get to know them on a more personal level. I found out that Lasha wants to travel to Italy, and Tiko had a dream about singing on stage with Coldplay.

Another day I did the game "Two Truths and One Lie." They told me three statements and I had to guess what was the lie. Even the kids that can barely speak were able to play along! It went something like this: "I like to play basketball. I like the color blue. I like Michael Jackson." Hey, at least I'm getting them talking! 

I was able to handle the older classes on my own, including the 6th and 7th forms, but once I had to do 4th and 5th by myself I was a complete mess! I couldn't get the kids to stop talking and they just kept laughing as I became more and more distressed. I wasn't frustrated at how they were acting because they are just kids, and kids act up when the real teacher isn't around. I was more upset at myself because I couldn't communicate with them enough for them to really respect me. 

I left that day feeling really down, and when I came into school the next day I had the 5th form as my first class, and Nana my co-teacher was late so I had to get started on my own. However, I guess the principal gave them a good talking to after she saw I was upset the day before because they behaved like little angels! 

I'm just really thankful that I am just the teacher's assistant, and not the full on teacher. I really enjoy doing my own lessons and bringing a lot more color to the lessons, but its a relief to have the Georgian teacher there for backup. You never know what these kids are going to pull!

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