Sunday, August 13, 2006

My Class Is Up To Snuff

Today was a big day in my teaching career. My 1093 class had their final tests for the level they have been in for the past 4 months. Students have to score 80% on these tests in order to go on to the next level. This is my first experience having my own class in this position. There are 18 students in the class, 17 of them made it! The one that didn't pass has decided to not continue in the program. I think she has known for quite some time that she wasn't returning, so she hasn't been working very hard.

This success rate is great because the final tests for all levels tend to be really tough and the failure rates are usually high. Scott, one of my fellow foreign teachers, has a class in the level and about the same size. He had a half a dozen students fail. So I am pretty proud of my group. I attribute their success to my countless hand-outs and busy work I give them. Also, they were taught for a long time by Eileen, a remarkable Chinese teacher. She had them for a few years prior to my arrival. I model a lot of what I do after Eileen's approach. She also uses lots of hand-outs and extra assignments. Many of the students moan and groan when they see the work they have to do, but I think they are thankful for the chance to succeed.

One thing I have began to integrate into my class is crosswords. I think they are a great way to solidify the students vocabulary comprehension. I give them crosswords that cover the verbs in each unit and puzzles that provide a nice overview of the entire unit. I have always loved to do crosswords and I hope I can inspire these kids to feel the same.

I got some bad news today. I am going to be losing 3 of my students in this class. They are junior high students that just don't have enough time to study English. I hate this part of the job. I invest emotions in all of these kids. It's a bummer to lose them. On a bright note, I have a new student starting this week. He is a great kid and I can't wait to teach him.

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