Wednesday, June 08, 2005

I Want to Marry Ryan Banks . . .

(No, not really, but that’s the name of the ABC Family movie w/ Jason Priestley that I loved – consider this a shout out to Virginia Gal!)

Last night was the first ESL class of the summer session – we’re only going through the end of July and I only teach once a week, team teaching with another teacher who does Thursday nights. Ten people showed up for my Level two class, for which 15 signed up. They are all new folks – most of my students from the Spring that returned moved up to Level 3, which is awesome! – but it will take a while to get the chemistry going that made last semester so much fun to teach. I always get so nervous before meeting a new group of folks, and last night was no exception. Does that feeling ever go away? I have such a wide range of abilities in my class, I really depend on the students getting along and helping each other to make it a successful session.

I act like such a ham when I am teaching . . . and I’m actually rather shy normally . . . but I figure that people work hard all day, the last thing the want when they come to class for two hours at night is someone that will just stand there and drone on . . . I know that I hate classes like that. I cheer, I clap, I hand out bubble gum, chocolates and lollypops when people try stuff. I act out words. I try to get people laughing, or at least smiling. English isn’t a science, it’s an art, and a lot of pronunciations and spellings are for kind of random reasons. I’m pretty upfront about that. But I do try to answer any and all questions they have about how to pronounce things and why things are the way things are.

So a new session begins and I get to act goofy and try to get people to speak and write better English. My students may think I’m nuts, but I hope they learn at least a little something through my goofiness!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yay - "I Want to Marry Ryan Banks" that was the name of the film - a-ha! Thanks for the shout-out!!! We both loved that film, it was too cute no? Plus that guy who plays Ryan's best friend is very good looking - easy on the eyes to watch him 8-) .
Good luck with the ESL class, but from what I read, I'm sure it will be a success (I love your approach to making English learning fun -s much better than often used drone method). Who doesn't love getting candy in school?
-Virginia Gal