Ending on a Good Note


Wednesday, I taught my last lessons for two of the eighth grade classes. My lesson plan involved reading an email exchange between five people in different countries and answering ten questions about the content. Because I was afraid this would turn out bad when the students noticed it was as tough as a test, I eased them into it by comparing American and Japanese emoticons.

My text was about twice as long as a similar exercise in the course book. Also, most of the official lesson plans only teach the current grammar pattern, going light on reinforcement; but, my text included all of the targets for the whole term and a few from last year. I picked the five kids who speak out of turn the most to read the emails.

Nobody complained (much), and most students did quite well on the worksheet. I hope the eighth grade classes on Friday run this smoothly. All but one of Thursday’s seventh grade classes got canceled, which makes for a light load at the end.

Friday we’ll be getting introduced to the new teacher. Word is that she’s from the Philippines. I hope she is young and energetic and fun; that’s what I think it takes to handle the kids without so much stress.


7 Responses to “Ending on a Good Note”

  1. Keven Says:

    Is it my imagination or do classes get cancelled a lot more than in the US?

  2. Sunkissd1 Says:

    Kudos to you for continually trying to find fun and creative ways to teach and engage the kids. That makes learning a great deal more enjoyable, especially for the kids who don’t enjoy the learning process as much as others.

  3. Sunkissd1 Says:

    I don’t think Keven was paying attention this entire school year to how many days off the kids continually got. It makes sense to me why their overall performances are down, they’re never at school to learn anything.

  4. びっくり Says:

    Of course Keven doesn’t pay attention to that: he doesn’t have any kids. I always have trouble when people ask me, “Do they do X at American schools?” I realized that I know about the junior high experience… in Western Washington… about 30 years ago…. I have started framing my responses with a lot of conditional statements.

    If you like my creativity in the classroom, please read my upcoming post about Ferry Accidents. What will the connection be??? You’ll see. Maybe I will post that tonight.

  5. sunkissd1 Says:

    He should be aware! We had lengthy, very vocal discussions about each day the kids had off and no wonder they’re not very bright…compared to our generation, of course!! 🙂

  6. びっくり Says:

    …not very bright… compared to our generation… But we probably don’t seem very bright when compared to “The Greatest Generation”.

    Today we had a discussion about how the students don’t do so much learning at school. Many students go to juku at night and that is where they do their learning. A teacher was talking about how hard it is to teach a class that has several students who attend juku and several who don’t. Students in the same class can be at very different levels.

    One of my biggest beefs is that all seventh graders take level one; all eighth graders, level two; and all ninth graders, level three. This means that students who failed every test in level one and level two, still move up to level three with everyone else. A few students don’t grasp the fundamentals, so it is tremendously difficult for them to learn the new material.

  7. びっくり Says:

    I almost forgot to mention that two of today’s eighth grade classes, while being OK, were plagued by several of the common annoying problems of teaching large, junior high classes. My favorite class is I-gumi, the learning disabled students’ class. It would have been nice to end on a high note with that class; however, it was canceled.

    I decided it was good to see all of the troubles at the end, so I don’t forget why I needed to move on.

    The new teacher came in the afternoon and I briefed her on a lot of standards and procedures, as well as giving some advice. I tried not to poison her thought process with my prejudices. I want her to develop her own style, and am hopeful a fresh approach will be good for the students.

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