Sunday, February 26, 2006

The Going-Away Party and Super Writers

Tomorrow is the going-away party for Chris & Brent. I am REALLY going to miss those guys. They are good people. I will never forget all the wacky times we've had at the office...friends for life. What they have done for me is immeasurable. I doubt I would've succeeded here without them. I can't imagine having a better indoctrination into work/life in Taiwan. I think I am a very capable teacher now as a result of their work. Their caring and compassion is something I will treasure for the rest of my life. Life at work is going to be very strange without them...I guess I am going to have to spend the next few weeks preparing for their departure...what a bummer.

The writing class is pretty wacky. We are flying blind. Chris, Scott and I each have our own class and none of us are sure what direction to take them, it's pretty funny. The owner of the school, Mr. Su, is clueless. He wants us to teach the class in 32 weeks/classes...that's freaking impossible. In order to teach the class in a reasonable manner, we are going to need about a year. The pace at which he wants us to work is hysterical. We just finished the 3rd class and the kids are already freaking out. The amount of work I am giving them is pretty crazy. These kids are excellent students, but can I really expect a bunch of teenagers to spend 6 or 7 hours a week doing homework for this class on top of their huge load of work in their regular school? NO! I think that my boss had a discussion with Mr. Su this week and a change in the class structure is in the near future. The guy has to realize that maximizing profit doesn't always jive with the learning process.

Here is this week's homework for my Superwriters class:

Read 5 pages in the text. There are many words in it they don't know, so they have to look up the meaning in a dictionary and write it in the margins.

Write 4 pages in their workbook. Each page has 2 exercises, not easy ones. Primarily grammar practice.

Write second draft of "What It Means To Volunteer" composition.

Read the new story: "What's Money All About". It's about 20 pages.

Work on their New Words for the week. These are new words found in the above reading. This week they have about 70. All I give them is the words in English. They have to figure out what part of speech they are and translate them all into Chinese. I will quiz them on 10 of them next week.

Brainstorm ideas for new composition: "Things I Buy and Why".

Write first draft of "Things I Buy and Why".

So, as you can see, this is not a cake-walk. My hands are tied, I have to assign this much stuff or we won't make it through the book in the time allotted. I hope they hang in with's gonna get easier, I

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