Tuesday, March 11, 2008


I've seen four of my five classes, now. Initial impressions:

The 7:40AM class (Level 2) is quiet but sharp. I was a bit worried about their energy level yesterday, but they're made of sturdier stuff than I had initially given them credit for. This became obvious today when I compared their performance to that of the second class.

The 8:50AM class (Level 2), which was a laugh riot yesterday, was something of a sodden mess today. One student who was absent yesterday came today, which meant she was thoroughly unprepared. Four students came in late-- one of them gasped and loudly said, "I'm late?" I think I've found the class drama queen. Another student showed up almost thirty minutes late-- she'd done the same thing yesterday. I'm not sure how this class is going to turn out; at this point, I'm expecting some attrition within the first couple weeks. This continues my tradition of having weird 9AM classes. I don't know why, but for me, the second class of the day is often less stable in terms of collective mood and attendance.

My noon class (I fucking hate teaching at lunchtime) looks pretty good; it's a more advanced-level class (Current Events English), and as is true of many English teachers, I often prefer dealing with the higher-level students, mainly because I don't have to speak so slowly to them. The class does contain a few intermediate-level girls, but they seem eager to keep pace with everyone else. I'm hoping this class sticks with the program. Ah, yes: one member of the class is a man-- a professor, in fact. He's got two daughters in Canada who speak English, French, and Korean, and the prof himself speaks German along with English and Korean. Seems like a good guy, though I noticed he was hogging the conversation time a bit during the group work the students were doing yesterday.

My 1:30PM class (Level 2) had only one registrant as of last Friday, but three people showed up for it yesterday, which saddened me: I was hoping the class would be cancelled. As things stand, the class will forge ahead, but my main worry is that, with only three people there, a single absentee will plunge the class into gloom. One student arrived over ten minutes late yesterday; I'm hoping she does better today.

I won't meet my fifth and final class until Friday. They ought to be a peppy bunch; teaching pronunciation is a bit like teaching a dance class: everyone has to be active.

It looks to be about a normal semester, though I'm keeping an eye on my 8:50AM class.


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