It's possible

I should be blogging more... especially about school. People ask about it and I always give very vague answers. So here goes...

This week was the second week of having to create my own lesson plan since we finished the textbook. Last week I did a cultural lesson on Thanksgiving, and this week the lesson plan was about predictions, and I used astrology to demonstrate it a bit. Wednesday was the first day I had to teach the astrology lesson and I was really nervous since I hadn't exactly planned it well... I just used a lesson plan I created over the summer for my TEFL class. It was designed for a small class and for an hour whereas my classes are twice as large and only for 45 minutes. To make matters worse, my guinea pig class has the lowest level of English proficiency. To my surprise when I handed out the group activity they all got right to work on it before I could even explain the directions. I asked my co-teacher if we should stop them but she said to just let them work. They did a great job! I was really impressed, and happy to see the students so engaged.

For both the Thanksgiving and prediction lesson plans I made sure to relate it somehow to Korea. For Thanksgiving our activity at the end of class was to create a Venn Diagram comparing and contrasting Turkey Day and Chuseok. Before I introduced the Western way of astrology I first talked a little bit about Chinese astrology which is what they are familiar with. I told the kids that I am a rabbit and they quickly began trying to figure out how old I am, but they will never know O:) It was really funny listening to them try to pronounce the zodiac signs.

The happiest part of my day had to be when I was exiting the 2nd grade teachers' office when I heard an unfamiliar voice say, "Hi Rachelle!" I looked over to see the girl that is proclaimed to have the lowest English grade in the school talking to me. My response: "You can speak English?!?" She tells me a little. I was in shock! She then grabbed on to me and told me she loves me, hehe. One of the worst male students in the school happened to be nearby and he was trying to tell me she is a bad student. They both were slowly going back and forth at it in English (for me I'm assuming, they could do a much better job in Korean I'm sure). It was time for them to head to class and when I saw my co-teacher I told her about it. She told me that the girl likes me and is trying to speak English. Originally I was told to not make her participate in class, so she would just sit at her desk at the back of the room with all her markers and pens drawing. She is quite an artist (if anyone saw the Van Gogh Starry Night picture I put up, it's hers), and draws pictures of nearly naked cavemen... we're talking intricate details. Which reminds me, one of my co-teachers confiscated a "graphic novel" from a student and I had a hard time not laughing when she showed me one of the drawings.

I still just can't believe that that particular student spoke English to me today! She was pretty indifferent towards me in the beginning, but I would always smile at her in and out of the classroom and apparently it changed her attitude for the better. She is part of the guinea pig class and I saw her working diligently on the group assignment. It upsets me that sometimes teachers don't give enough credit to the students. Unless they have a learning disability, they are probably capable of learning, if motivated.

I heart middle school!~


Randy Pulayya said...

Great blog! You should add more pictures! I did the same Thanksgiving lesson. Check out our blog at

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