Sunday, November 18, 2007

Patrick- A Strict Elementary School

Usually visits to the elementary school bring lots of chaos. The kids are generally very excited, either at getting to study English or not having to study (whatever), so it's quite disorderly and entertaining. But for my own part, I have mostly visited smaller elementary schools and taught only one class (20-30 students) at a time.

On Friday I visited an elementary school that was extremely strict. If students talked when they were entering the room, they were severely scolded. Previously I have not really noticed students being scolded just for talking here.

When it came time for questions, the students had already been selected who would ask-- and what they would ask.

I read The Very Hungry Caterpillar to the fourth grade, and after that they had a ten question quiz on whate he ate and when.

But even more surprising was lunch. Usually I eat lunch with a class of students and just talk to them. But this lunch was scheduled and choreographed to the last. Three students do greetings, three students ask questions, three students show special tricks (rolling eyes into the back of his head, backflip, stuffing his ear inside his ear?- hard to explain), etc.

Then, even more bizarrely, when I get back to my junior high school, one of the English teachers tells me that at that elementary school, they have actually been really teaching them English every year (usually elementary schools just get a visit or two a year from someone like me for "English instruction"). Well, I actually thought their English ability was lower than the other elementary schools.

I'm not really sure what more to say about this school. Sorry if you read to the end hoping for some resolution.

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