Saturday, 12 November 2011

The Many sides to teaching!

Hey again, I know I am becoming a bit lazy with these lately and I do promise to try and blog more often, but the truth of it is, that after a long day, I just want to crash down with a movie, and not have to sit there and write! However, I am going to try really hard from now on.
So here goes ...
This week is coming up to the end of the 4th Parcial (term) and of course everyone needs to do exams, so I look at my mark sheet for every class that I teach and ... “Shit, I have hardly done any tests!” I say to a calm as ever Ally as he is mulling over his mark sheets. I therefore whack out my teachers planner and plan nearly two weeks worth of lessons to see if I can cram in revision sessions and tests into one week. Turns out I could, but only being seriously cruel to some of my kids, like 2 tests in a week and a homework sheet, haha. Glad I didn’t have me as a teacher! But as ever, the weather decided to put a dampener on things and rained off two days worth of these plans, so I had to scrap the revision session and just pop in during one of their other lessons and tell them there was going to be a test, and have an unscheduled class on one other day (the classes here have like no timetable to them, so we can pretty much turn up when we want and give a class!).
So here I was planning like mad, and making up so many draft tests in this little note book I found, about 3 different spelling tests and 4 different exams, luckily there were some worksheet books in the house from past volunteers, so some of the work load was lifted a bit for the younger years with the help of ‘Activity Packs for Young Learners - Pupil’s Pack - Delta Publishers’ (cheers guys, I can always rely on you!). Luckily none of my students complained too much, it is just hard to get them all where you want them at one time, there is quite often a couple of students missing, so I then have to schedule a re-sit test for those that missed it during break, but of course, not all of them turn up, so have to do it again until I get far to frustrated and just say no! 
This is all great, because I don’t actually have to teach and just walk around the class while they are racking their brains on how to translate and spell the word ‘Baloncesto’ (answer at bottom of page) and look over their shoulder at how they are doing, oh and also laugh to myself at the cunning of some of my students and to what lengths some will go to “hide” the fact that they are cheating, like one guy saying he needs a book to lean on, and me turning round to see that he is in-fact opening this book instead of leaning on it, or another having their english book open inside of their bag on their chair, and the pretend to be tired to lean on their arm and have a cheeky look inside, or as Ally describes one of his kids leaning over and very un-subtly pulling a folded up piece of paper out of his top packet and passing it in-front of his face and very noisily putting it back into his pocket, only to repeat the process for the next question!
But as always, with a mountain of exams, comes a mountain of marking. Me and Ally had to sit there for a good 2 - 3 hours, while we ticked and crossed every single paper we had. The next day, we were accosted by our students asking for their marks and papers back, and whether or not they would have to come back into school on the weekend to do ‘recuperaciĆ³n’ (basically where they sit one other exam and if they pass that, they pass the year, hardly fair I know, but still, these kids do have a few screws loose!)
Anyway, I may sound as if am moaning quite a bit, but I do love it all, and it hit me the other day how much of a teacher I have become when I stood at the front of the class and waited there with my arms crossed for silence! haha
Till next time,
P.s - one thing that does scare me is angry parents! Especially when one of them is the deputy head!

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