Archive for February 13, 2008

Yesterday’s three jobs; One disruptive student

I am employed by three different employers as of yesterday.  I got myself fitted out with my cubicle in a big room with about ten other teachers and my own computer at the university (which will remain nameless) where Ken teaches.  Eventually, I hope to be getting some classes of my own but for now I will be helping with the Director of the Language Center who is burdened with many tasks such as committee work, research, etc.  Met and got re-acquainted with some of the Kazakh teachers I have gotten to know over the last four months.  I then left to prepare for my intermediate class with nine students that I’ve been teaching the last four months at World Exchange.  That was a fun group where they role played about being the employer and employee.  I told the nine students about my busy day with three jobs.   

After that class, I got the projector ready for my powerpoint for my new TOEFL class that I started last night which will go for eight weeks every Tuesday evening.  I had six students, well, really only five.  One girl came late, checked out with the “lights on but nobody home” look simply because she was so enamored with her cell phone.  I told her to put it away in her purse once I found out why she seemed so zoned out.  She did.  Then we had break and she did not come back as the others did after about five minutes, they all got their TOEFL textbooks at that time.  I found her in the hall talking to a friend and on the cell phone again.  I told her she needed to get into the classroom to take the 30 minute in-class writing pre-test.  She said she was talking on the phone to her father, she needed five more minutes. I said no, the writing test had already begun.  

Then one of the staff of “Administration” in the hallway told me when all six students were in the classroom writing quietly that this female student (let’s call her A. for short) was nervous about the class and also angry with me.  What?  I had told her to put her cell phone away?  Then I was told A. had to go to the airport to pick up someone.  When I went back into the classroom, she was being disruptive to the other students by talking on her cell phone again to “whomever.”  I told her to leave.  She did so gleefully.  Then when I went back to the reception area she was still talking and doing something more with the staff.  I wonder just how very urgent her errand was? 

When A. answered my initial 10 questions on a piece a paper like the other students in my effort to get to know them, she simply wrote down the questions on the first three and answered only briefly, if at all, on the other 7 questions.  I had asked what their strengths were and she wrote “speaking.”  Apparently so, she likes to talk in Russian to her friends on a cellphone and clearly she has rudimentary writing skills. 

A. is 18 years old and wants to go to Dubai but clearly she is demonstrating that she cannot participate in this class under a teacher’s direction.  The other five students were very eager to try out their blogs and I am having them do three journal entries a week.  They will be responding to the readings from the first section in the Reading chapter of the textbook.  All in all, the class went very well.  I will be checking on their writing samples today and I’ll know more about their level from that.   

Yes, all three jobs went very well for me yesterday.

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