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!