Thursday, October 16, 2008

"You're a good teacher"

That's what one of my students told me yesterday. He had been absent for 2 classes and as much as I didn't take it personally, there was a part of me that wondered. I didn't want to ask why he'd been gone, but one of the other students brought it up. He doesn't have a set work schedule, so he wasn't getting off until about 6:30 each day, so he'd miss class. On Monday, he has his citizenship test, so I wished him luck. I really enjoy this student. He has a soft face, a good sense of humor and most of all, he really wants to learn. He takes constructive criticism well and offers in sight on what it's like not being able to communicate.
I was excited to have him there yesterday, but since I was embarking on a new format, I was a also a little nervous. I don't come across as intellectual to many people, perhaps not even smart. I know I'm looked down upon by others for reading my gossip blogs (I take them with a grain of salt, but I love my bloggers), liking "Legally Blonde" and enjoying top 40 music. I don't discuss politics, religion, or immigration with people unless I'm asked a direct question. I know these are charged topics, so I try to avoid them at any cost. This doesn't, however; mean I don't have an opinion on the matter, I just don't like to argue, or get upset, or heck upset anyone. I'm pleasant, calm, empathetic and open. I like to hear what other's have to say and try to understand why they have that opinion, and what brought them to that conclusion. I don't like being attacked for what I believe and I don't like when someone flat out says I'm wrong, because I wouldn't begin to argue with someone about their beliefs. There are a lot of gray areas in the world, right and wrong are two of the extremes, but I digress.
I was nervous that I'd be looked at as silly, and you know what? I was! And that's ok. I am silly, I can make fun of myself, I can put myself out there and I'm learning to accept that that's who I am but that's not ALL of what I am. Yes, I watch "Ugly Betty", but I also like to watch the History Channel and science shows (even though, perhaps I might not understand it, but I try). I believed that my silly teaching tool was helpful and apparently it was. I asked if I should continue with Ugly Betty or choose something else. The majority vote was something else. Cool. I'm not offended or insulted. I understand that *I* like Betty, but perhaps not everyone does. And that's ok. I'll find something that suits them better. They were accepting and open to a new way of teaching and I was open to hearing about suggestions to make it easier, or more fun. Now, I must look through my dvd collection and find if there's something out there for all . . . maybe this week it will be Heroes.
All in all, I had a good day. How I wish I could do this all day, everyday. I like finding out new ways and new materials for my students, but I know I have a week spot: grammar. I suck at it. I don't understand it one bit. My only saving grace is that I SPEAK English. If I had to learn how, I'd fail! So that's my homework for this week, keep up on my grammar learning. Also, what is the difference between Tell and Say. I propose that to you cuz I'm at a loss on how to *simply* explain it to Spanish speakers. Any help?


Kristin said...

I got the below off a grammar website. It's sorta what I was thinking, that "tell" is more instructional, or relates to telling a "story". Say is more about just making any type of comment. Anyway, here's what a website said:

"Although both of these words are used in both direct and indirect speech, say is more usual than tell in direct speech. This is because say can refer to any sort of speech, while tell always means "instruct" or "inform".

McJumpguez said...

Oh thanks. That makes sense. Tell is more for instruction, and say is more for anything.