Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Successful lessons or interactions with your students - how it feels

Today I brought in two take-out packages of Chinese dim sum treats for my students. Lunar New Year is upon us and many of my students are from countries where this means a break for them. Yet, they are in America where we just glance over this special time in the world. So I thought I would share a little of those fun times with my students today.

I was quite nervous that they wouldn't like the treats I selected or that they would feel awkward being treated by their American teacher. However, it went well (of course). They loved the egg tarts more than the sesame buns, and I was happy to see they like the mango juice I brought as well.

Now I'm not really trying to "butter up" my students but the program I teach at is so intense and busy that I haven't had much relaxed fun time with my students. (This is at an intensive English program at a local community college). I felt like at the smaller private schools they  have enough in-house events that I can get to know students a lot more, so I wanted to mimic that.

I still taught the class, as we did a few pages in the book and then I held a quiz game. This week I also have scheduled a visit to the school's library for the art exhibit, so a lot of fun things to do.

My hectic quarter is finally starting to feel balanced. School work for my one and last class is getting done and my move to my new place is feeling more settled.

I'm doing my best to accommodate my students and figure out the best ways to teach them the material. I don't know what's going to happen next quarter, as I applied to another job. I'm hoping I can continue at my current school - ah this reminds me to put out more applications.

So in essence having a successful lesson or good time with your students is always a real treat. Sometimes it's because you plan something that works and sometimes it happens cause you put everyone in a good mood. I just hope for more of these good times as the weeks go by.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Passing a test and coming out the other end

I have passed my comps test.

What was the test like?

When I opened up the envelope and read through the questions I did become overwhelmed. There were a few questions that I didn't want to see as my choices, and a few I felt like I couldn't strongly answer them. Nevertheless, I did my best and seemed to have done it right. I wrote about 3 pages for each question, which is a page over the minimum required.

In the end it was a bit stressful taking it, but my answers seemed to flow out of me. Maybe it's because I studied so much or that I tried to write about how I felt in regards to the subject matter.

Anyway, having passed the test I definitely feel relieved. I can move on with my life...I can see that I definitely finished my M. Ed. TESOL degree and that life as a graduate students is going to fade away.

Other life things...

I moved! I moved into a 3 bedroom house with my boyfriend in a neighborhood near where I last lived. The house is a bit of a fixer upper (we're renting), but the landlord is super okay fixing things. My room has a closet and enough space to put in my two desks, so now I have space for my work and my art!


I have been teaching one class, a writing one, and it hasn't been easy. The students are great, they are not a problem. The class involves three different things going on and you kinda gotta get to it all. It's already week 6 and I think I've got the hang of things. At first I went at it trying to make lessons with materials and activities, but time kept getting the best of me. Then I realized that it is better to get to know the material and what I'm teaching and how to say it. Now I'm at a point where I need to just organize the day-to-day and pepper things with activities, but most importantly try to understand the material and give students time to practice.

The class involves learning sentence structures, editing and articles. I'm a little worried with the amount of energy I spend on one class, as I hope to be teaching 2 or 3 classes in the future. Teaching full on in an intensive English program definitely is different from what I imagined. However, I'm doing my best to make it work. Now with the comps past me I think I can feel less stressed.


I'm still finishing up my last class (a Reading in TESOL one). I have two more assignments I need to finish before the end of the quarter, plus whatever reading is left. At this point, I'm interested in the subject matter but ready to say so long.

I really enjoyed my program and being a grad student. There were definitely some tough times and I did some growing and learning through the process. My two years back in America is coming up and I remind myself I once lived in Korea. I've been focused a lot on the present and future that I hope I take some time to look back on the past.

My job is 30 minute away (by car), so I hope in the future my commute isn't something of a bother. Who knows as I could end up at a school, which is closer. But this first job has been a blessing and I'm really grateful.

Overall, I've moved my things into a new place and been busy unpacking. I'll take and put up pics as soon as things look less chaotic.

That's the news...