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May. 31st, 2007

I am going on a course tomorrow, for ESOL (English as a Second Language) assistance in Religious Education teaching!! I am, apparently, the only RE teacher around the city who is also an ESOL expert! Heh. So they insisted that my Principal let me go on this course. It took me ages to set work for my classes but now I'm free to just go to the course tomorrow and be with adults all day! And if I am bored, I can write in my head. Crossing town to have my stitches out late this afternoon, I had a lot of ideas about my writing and where I'm going wrong and what I might do to perk it up so that I can write in bursts when I get a minute (at the moment I'm at a dead stop), so I'm rather keen to get on with that.

It is, though, bless her, the Queen's birthday this weekend (not her real one though) so we get Monday off (although Asher has a soccer game). I don't have much time for the Queen, particularly since I married into an Irish family *g* but I appreciate the day off all the same. I shall definitely do some writing. I am determined. I should get some alone time, as I dropped Steve at the airport this morning and that's it, he's off for two weeks. Bon voyage, mon whatever... mari? Yeah, I think that might be it. Long time since I really studied any French.

And tonight I phoned the mother of one of Christy's friends about a party, and it turned out we went to school together and lived just a few streets apart growing up. We're the same age but I was two years ahead of her at school, so we were never friends or anything. Small world though! We knew a lot of people in common. Wellington is so like that!

And that's it from me. I had a wonderful day teaching. I did some really good things in the classroom today, and I am grateful to have such a cool job for now - even my Year 11s were great today, actually studying for their test on the Reformation, which we postponed to Tuesday!

*yawn* I might need to go to bed soon.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 31st, 2007 09:10 pm (UTC)
I have a feeling I asked this last year too, but I can't remember (my memory is practically non-existent these days), but when you say "the Queen" do you mean the British one? Because if so, I find it very amusing that you guys get the day off for her birthday when we don't. In fact, I wouldn't have known it was her birthday at all if you hadn't posted that comment.

But, then, maybe it's a whole other queen you're talking about.
Jun. 1st, 2007 10:00 am (UTC)
Well, we are in the Commonwealth, so yeah, it's the same queen as your one! Not that we're actually interested in her or anything. But we're stuck with her at the moment.

I think her real birthday is in April or May...

-But, then, maybe it's a whole other queen you're talking about.
Jun. 1st, 2007 05:52 am (UTC)
I hope your course went well, though I suspect you could have given it... I think it sounds interesting!

And enjoy your long weekend... a reckon the queen could use a couple more birthdays each year, or at least we could!!
Jun. 1st, 2007 10:01 am (UTC)
The course was NOTHING like I expected, and was irritating at times, but it was still useful, I guess.

Oh yeah, a long weekend is just what I needed right now. I am going to enjoy every minute of it, if I can. There is even French Open tennis to have on in the background!
Jun. 1st, 2007 01:08 pm (UTC)
So what was the course about? and why was it irritating? Tell me all about it!!
Jun. 2nd, 2007 06:08 am (UTC)
*g* Well, it was about how to be a better teacher when you have ESOL kids in your class. Thing was, the woman based it on one of our turgid textbooks, and did all this lengthy analysis of texts, that I tend to just ignore. She was of the opinion that children need to be able to access difficult text so as to be able to extend themselves. I felt like it was more like an English lesson. But apparently, with the 'literacy project' on everyone's lips, everyone has to analyse their own texts this way. It was kind of annoying. I tend to get the message across in other ways in Religious Education, like using simplified texts or images. I'll have to work a lot harder to do it her way. I think I'll do a mixture over the next few weeks, see if I can incorporate some of her ideas without boring my class stupid LOL! My Year Nine class has at least eight girls out of twenty one that come from another country.

So I guess it wasn't what I was expecting. I was hoping to be coming up with some simplified tasks from the text, that sort of thing. She made out like we can't make things simple just because people are ESOL. But unforturately, they don't even always know about God at all. So it has to be simple sometimes, or they'll spend the whole year in a blur LOL!
Jun. 2nd, 2007 07:54 am (UTC)
I think in education you have to start where people are, and for many of these girls, their subject knowledge is minimal, and their comprehension in English is limited, so as a teacher you have to make a choice about which things to focus on... early in school life the focus should probably be literacy/ comprehension using subjects they are already familiar with to extend their use of language. But by secondary school level, your role as a teacher is surely to put across your subject matter in a way which is both interesting and comprehensible to your students, I think you do that, and the girls obviously appreciate that! The place for grappling with more complex texts is surely in English lessons... I think teachers of other subjects probably need to know what the texts say and present that information using comprehensible language and images, which is just what you do.

What this lady was suggesting sounds rather boring, and out of touch with the reality of teenage girls, so as usual with courses take anything useful or helful from what she said and file the rest away!!!
Jun. 2nd, 2007 10:44 am (UTC)
I think your comments are very reassuring. So thankyou! I do think now that I'm more committed to the school, I can put more time into preparing my classes, but at the same time, because RE is a compulsory subject, but often taken reluctantly, it's like a special mission to make it meaningful. I don't feel it's so much my job to improve literacy. I'll do my bit though *g*

What this lady was suggesting sounds rather boring

Well, the lady herself was pretty BORING! I know most of us were nearly asleep by lunchtime, thanks to her soporific monologues!
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