I just finished my last week of June at Sau Teet, the middle/high school where I teach five hours a week. It actually went alright today... It was the first day that I didn’t feel like the classroom dissolved into utter chaos, so that was a definite plus :-) I have also been having them do some research about a country of their choice so today was the day they were supposed to put all the information together into little booklets. Although most of the students didn’t follow all of the directions, I felt like they had at least gotten something accomplished. They understood me (in English of course), did most, if not all of the research in English, and wrote a little booklet in English. I hope they got something out of the project.
I still get a little frustrated with some of the students. After I give directions and ask if they have any questions, I tell them to get out their materials and start working. They just give me blank stares. “Do you understand?” I have to ask, and the reply is always “yes.” “Ok so get started!” ...Still no one moves... “Alright, let’s try it this way,” I say and go around to each row of students and explain the directions again. Needless to say, the day gets a little repetitive. I was talking with one of the other American teachers who said that he found the students seemed to work better if they were put in groups. It made sense to me: if I talk to the whole class it is so noisy (traffic outside and fans blowing inside) that it is hard to have all of the students hear me. It’s also hard to get them to listen to me and not chatter to each other or play with their unbelievably annoying all-in-one cell phone-radio-cameras, which each student appears to own. If they work in groups, I can go around to each group and talk to the students individually so they will still get practice using English. I think my lesson plans for next week will go somewhere along those lines.
My university classes are going well too. Two of my classes have just turned in the first part of their first project, which I will start grading today. I’m excited to see how they will do. Two of my other classes will be doing presentations for the next two class periods. I’m excited to see how this will go because I haven’t heard most of my students speak very much English yet.
I just got internet in my room so I will be able to upload pictures onto my blog. I also have skype and iChat so I hope I will be able to keep in better contact with everyone.
That’s the exciting news from Thailand for this week!