4.1 Spring 2022

April 27, Impromptu review part 2

Two days after Wendy attended my class, I attended Wendy’s English class; it was the loud sixth grade class I constantly have to reprimand but they all clapped and cheered when Wendy called me up to clarify some pronunciation.

“Thank you, thank you.” I bowed.

Wendy had an interesting reading tactic: she made three columns on the white board. Each student had a magnetic white board tile. If they didn’t know how to pronounce a word, they wrote the word on that tile and stuck it in column one. Words they didn’t understand went in column two. If they had no questions, they wrote their name and stuck the tile in column three.

After book work, I played Wendy’s speaking game with the kids. Soon the bell rang and Wendy darted off to lunch and I went back to the office for my chicken breast.

Sometime in the afternoon, Wendy asked around the partition, “how was my class? Do you have any comments on what I could do better?”

That certainly put me in a tight spot. Does she actually want a critique? Am I even qualified to comment? She’s been a teacher for more than a decade.

“I want to learn from you.” She said.

“From me!?”

“Yeah, your class is good and I also want to learn English classroom commands.”

I decided to tread very carefully.

“I really liked the board tiles. I think that helped their reading a lot.”

“Is that all?”

Damn, I thought I had managed to avoid potential offense!

“Umm… on the board I think the column one phrase should be ‘how do I read this’ instead of ‘how to read this’.”

“Aha, I see!” She seemed satisfied. I exhaled in relief, having dodged a potential faux paus.

Later I was making one of the hundred packs of instant Vietnamese coffee Wendy had bought for MJ and I when she confessed.

“I know I said we should watch each other a lot this semester but it was too stressful to prepare. So let’s stop here. We can observe again next semester.”

I laughed a little to myself. Classic Korean style: gung ho promises and fizzled ends.

In any case, the grand plan to shadow each other’s classes has been effectively terminated.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: