Movies and Testing

I’ve been busy this week with midterm testing. We’ve been creating tests, giving tests, grading tests, correcting tests. Which means that I’ve been doing my part in those activities: proofreading created tests, proctoring tests, adding grades to grade book, circling the classroom as Ellen corrects with the students.

This last point merits mention. Thursday, as we were correcting tests with the 5th graders, I noticed that Ellen had written distributions of scores on the board, and proceeded to ask the kids to raise their hands depending on who had gotten which score. Some of the kids looked quite smug at their perfect or near perfect scores, but when it got down to the Cs and Ds (or whatever their numerical equivalents were), the kids started to put their hands down and have negative, defeated attitudes, while the other kids gave a chorus of, ‘ooooh’ and other such quiet exclamations based on these supposed failings. I felt awful, and did not try to hide the distaste on my face. As they moved on, I caught Ellen in a spare moment and asked, ‘So is this something they frequently do?’ Not wanting to let on how much I truly disagreed with her tactics, after all, this isn’t my classroom not matter how much she tells me it is. That has been so apparent lately, given the amount of accessory work I end up doing, which is much better than doing nothing, let me tell you.

The most valuable thing I am learning from this experience is how I am not going to operate in my real classroom. I am not going to pit students against each other, I am not going to let them run wild or walk all over me, I am not going to swat them with textbooks or yell at them. I am going to have high expectations, I am going to speak to them in a calm voice full of intensity, I am going to smile, I am going to have them shake my hand and look me in the eye every day before class.


In other news, my friends and I were all going to go see this movie the other night :

We scootered over, me on the back of Michael’s scooter as usual. Walking from our parking area (tingchi difang) we popped into the tea shop across from You Ai, the department store that houses the movie theatre at the top, where we had heard (tingshuo) that you could get vouchers for NT180 instead of the usual NT 220 like they have inside the theatre. Isn’t that always the truth though, cheaper tickets are never found within the venue or from the company. We took the lift to the 7th floor and marched up to the counter to ask for movie, ‘D’ but they were sold out! ‘Mayo weizi’ we were informed. Slightly annoyed, we left the theatre area, descend back down the lift, and decided to go to Surewell, the grocery store, to look at their reduced fruit. You’ll find this hard to believe (especially you, Mom), but Michael my room mate is actually more of a reduced-fruit patron than I am. Every night he comes home with bags of oranges and clementines (interesting fact: all citrus looks the same here, the peel is all the same color, the sizes are just different so you can never tell what you’re getting, you just have to guess!).

Other than that, I may have mentioned it, but we DID go to see this movie last weekend:

Highly recommended, if you can get to it somehow.


What’s up for this coming week? On wednesday we have our workshop day, as wednesdays are half days at schools here. We are instead going to the Fushan Botanical Gardens though. You can read about it here, here, and here, if you want to know what I’ll be up to. I’m going to take lots of pictures, so just wait for those!

Also up for this weekend is Thanksgiving in Taipei on friday. That is highly anticipated by me for a number of reasons. 1. I love Thanksgiving because it is my birthday and reminds me of family (which also sort of makes me hate it this year, since we aren’t together)
2. We get to stay overnight in a hotel.
3. We get friday off from work, making up for 1010 day when we did not and had to come home from the President’s bash at an ungodly hour.

Sorry for the lack of pictures and the general casual nature of my writing. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post in which I describe my experience last weekend in Jiaoxi getting a fish pedicure!
Love, Hannah


4 thoughts on “Movies and Testing

  1. It is good to hear that you are busy pruning your life tree and thinking hard about how you might be as a teacher in the future. Observe and experience everything possible, whenever you can, so you can take it in, evaluate whether it works for you or not and then cast it aside OR make it a part of who you are. Ask “Does this work for me?” “Maybe” is a good answer to begin with unless it is a solid yes right off the bat. Then, try it out and decide. It might even take a few times. What a great experience this is for you in so many ways! Some things we love and some not so much and it is great to know the difference.
    We can’t wait for you to tell all about that fish pedicure. What?! That is something they definitely do NOT have here in the States, not that I know of anyway and I am in general jealous of you being near those hot springs so I hope you are taking full advantage of them while you are there.

  2. I am so glad you caught your teacher model in a bad teaching moment. We have been trained in something called Responsive Classroom here which seeks to encourage and support children’s learning. I am sure you can find it on line, and as you said, that moment would never occur in a classroom that honors children’s learning and social, emotional development as much as their academics. I also have to say that you handled really well, since you respectfully asked a question that your teacher/model will now think about, hopefully, but in any case did not confront her, just raised a good question.. Nice!! I am also sad that you cannot be here for your birthday or Thanksgiving, but wow! Thanksgiving in Taipai?? That’s amazing! I cannot wait to read what wonderful and well-written experiences you will have there!! We are, in fact, gathering today, since we cannot get the whole family together on Thanksgiving, for a noon meal and will send our collective love to you at that time – around noon Hopkinton time. I cannot wait to hear about the fish pedicure – it sounds ticklish!! Love and hugs from Hopkinton

  3. Happy late Birthday and happy early Thanksgiving! I was interested in the posting of school grades. They used to do that in England when we were there and my first reaction was much like yours but youngest son straightened it out for me. By posting grades the better students know which students they can help. We all try to help each other. What a concept – again, like so much in life – it is attitude. In England all want to do well in school. So wish it was so everywhere.
    Like I am sure your family is, we are watching the weather and hoping you take care to stay safe.

    • Oh don’t worry- the birthday isn’t until the 24th!
      I dislike when they post grades- I used to refuse to be added to the honor roll in high school because I don’t think it is fair to pitt people against one another like that. It only makes people feel bad. I realise that perhaps the other ones could help, but that is not the motive or the case here. It’s all a big competition game, as far as I can tell.

      The typhoon didn’t even come near us, thank goodness. My heart goes out to all in the Philippines.

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