Past Three Days

These have been a very long three days of lesson planning and teaching for a class that was NOT upper-intermediates. There were five students altogether: two of whom were a lower level intermediate, two of whom were the high end of intermediate (they had a good amount of random vocab), and then one person who was just a notch above beginners. It makes it a little rough to lesson plan for a class with such a difference in what they know.
And then we had our grammar test today…that was rough. They kept on saying, “Oh, just memorize this ten page packet” or “As long as you know everything in that grammar review, you’ll do fine”…in a very nonchalant way. No big deal. You just can’t graduate the course unless you pass it.
Safe to say that my anxiousness and test anxiety made me frantic – pretty much in a constant state of freaking out. I was actually speaking with someone earlier today about how I am completely transparent. What you see on my face is how I am feeling. ALL THE TIME. It kinda sucks. Sometimes it’s nice to have a facade of “everything is going fine and I’m handling everything so beautifully”. I literally cannot do that. I have tried and it just doesn’t work. If I’m nervous, you can see it. If I’m sad, it is obvious. If I am happy, no doubt about it. So, safe to say that the poor people taking this program with us, my patient husband, and the poor people teaching us have seen every single emotion I have been feeling (anger, sadness, anxiety, tired, lazy, apathy, irritation, frustration, hatred, etc….just to name a few).
While taking the grammar test, I literally drew a giant blank for several minutes. I was looking at one question asking me about a specific tense and I could not remember – at all. I then had to write every tense, their function, an example, all their uses, and a timeline with each starting with present tense on an entire sheet of paper so I could try to organize my thoughts. Thankfully that worked. I passed with a 97 and Walter passed with a 99 (of course he did). Fortunately that is behind us now as is lesson planning for this program. I enjoy teaching and lesson planning but I am looking forward to a bit of a break…and I am also looking forward to having my own students in my own classroom (or a semblance of a classroom) without being under the watchful eye of a veteran teacher and two other fellow teachers. It is hard to have any respect or keep their attention when there is one teacher watching you and taking notes and two other teachers going before or after you (What usually happens is that three of us will be assigned to a level each week. Then we prepare a lesson plan for every day the day of, Monday through Thursday. And then the three of us will each teach 45 minute lessons one after the other every night). It’s a lot all at once.
So, after our lesson tonight, we all went to “The Pub” and our students were there (like my favorite class, The Intermediates) and we were talking and laughing and having such a good time. One of my students (Vlastimil) bought my and Walter’s beer (which was SO good – my recent liking for beer is not necessarily a good thing…but their beer here is DEFINITELY a good thing). This specific pub is a “self-serve” place where each table has the beer on tap at each table. All you have to do is flip through the digital meter, choose your beer and size, and pour. That beer was so tasty. I think I drank it all in 15 minutes (as well as half of Walter’s).
So, praise God we passed the grammar test…and thank you Vlastimil for that delicious beer.
I don’t have time now but please know that I have been taking notes of all of the hilarious and ridiculous things our students have been saying and I will have a post dedicated exactly to that….once this is all over.


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