Saturday, September 19, 2009

Back to work

ESL classes resumed this week and I'm teaching a couple of classes on Mondays and Wednesdays. My night class has got me a bit concerned. All 20 of my students are Spanish speakers and it is the very lowest level, i.e. they can answer the question, "What is your name" and "How are you?", but that's about it.

I'm doing a little experiment this semester and not letting any of my students know that I speak Spanish. It has been my unfortunate experience that once they know I know Spanish, the vast majority of their questions are asked in Spanish and they want Spanish explanations, etc. I'm using the word Spanish a lot. Anyway.

It's been really difficult to pretend that I don't understand the conversations swirling around me and watching them struggle to put together simple questions when I KNOW what they want to ask, but I want them to at least try to do it in English.

There's a couple of other issues to deal with in the class. I've been assigned a Grad Student who is doing her practicum to get her MA in TESOL. She has to teach practically half my class. Yeah! Kinda. She's from France, has parents from Tanzania and English is her 3rd language. I'm not doubting her abilities, I'm worried about the accent. I guess that's a bit hypocritical since I've done my fair share teaching Spanish to gringos. We shall see.

Third issue: I've got 20ish students and there are 7 Marias. I'm not even joking, and none of them want to be called by any other name. I guess I'm going to have to call them by their first and last names or just use a lot of pro active eye contact. The class thinks it's hilarious.

Ben texted me the other night during class and I told him I was busy dealing with 7 Marias. He made me laugh out loud as he responded, "How do you solve a problem like 7 Marias?" I'll let you know the answer as soon as I figure it out.


Here's James, shortly before bedtime. Bob the Builder hardhat, Spongebob pjs and Elmo Slippers. You have to admit, he's a cutie!

Saturday, September 05, 2009

In the bathroom this morning:

James: I hope my pee comes out like honey.

Me: What are you talking about?

James: Well, I ate Honey Nut Cheerios for breakfast this morning.

(Well, honey pee would be better than the nut alternative.)

At the restaurant this afternoon:

Server: What will you have to drink?

Ben: Water

Me: Water, and can you bring him (James) a water with a lid on it? You never know with these little kids. Better safe than sorry.

10 mins later, before our food had even arrived, I knocked MY WATER glass over. It covered the whole table, ran off onto James' lap and puddled all over the floor. Hello, Karma! Teeny, tiny one room restaurant. Thankfully there were no obvious mockers. The employees didn't even mop it up while we were still there. They just kinda stepped around it carefully in their comings and goings. Weird.