Communication, Educational System, Republic of Georgia, Teaching

Teaching Solo

I am teaching this entire week sans my local English teacher. I am not thrilled at the prospect, but will prayerfully approach it the best way I can. (These days when I start to whine, even inside my head, I get Joyce Meyer and Steve Buckland simultaneously coaching me on what I am saying/thinking. Hah.)

To imagine what this would be like, picture yourself in, say, the Czech Republic. You do not speak Czech. You have to control 20 extremely talkative, energetic junior higher students. You do not know how to say any of the essential teacher words, like “be quiet” “sit down” “repeat after me” etc. Intimidating? Yes, a bit.

Without the English teacher, I feel like I am sort of a substitute teacher. Maybe a bit better since I am a guest and that carries a lot of weight here. But we all remember how much attention we paid to substitute teachers, right? Imagine being a substitute teacher who doesn’t speak the language. “They’ll eat me alive!” was the first thing that crossed my mind when I got the news.

Okay, I’m waxing a bit melodramatic. But it’s just so much fun!

Last night, I mentioned the situation to my host mother in my best Georgian: “Tomorrow, Tsira no. In Tbilisi. I teacher lessons.” I said “7th class” and then gestured a wild frenzy with my hands. She make a big “ah-hah” noise and then offered to come with me. I was like, “Ooo, yes.” An opportunity not to pass up! And I am glad she did.

She came with me to both my classes this morning and was a very effective crowd controller. I think they respond even better to her than they do to the English teacher! Normally both classes are quite wild. Today they were the best behaved children in Georgia. Amazing. It probably helped that the principal dropped by in one class. Yeah, kids. The principal’s got my back. Don’t mess with the guest!

Also I talked to my mom this morning and she said she would pray. Praying mothers are powerful stuff. Not to be discounted. I believe she was even going to call the 700 Club prayer line. Bringing in the big guns, eh, mama? So with God, the 700 Club, my mother, my host mother, and the school principal behind me, my outlook on the week has improved greatly.

 I’ll let you know how it goes!

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2 thoughts on “Teaching Solo

  1. Patricia says:

    Hi Amy, I’m student teaching in a beginning ESL (literacy) class at Milpitas Adult Ed. Last week was my first lesson. That’s when I realized how difficult it is to manage a class where students have very little knowledge of English. I struggled with explaining the first activity. Lots of gesturing was involved. Lots of modeling too. And eventually they got it. But it took a while. I know you’ll do fine, even without your host mother.

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