This week is Week 42 in our “Academic Calendar”, marked as
the final week for this term and the kids will be off for a week of no class
then back to school again by the second week of April for a new “Academic Term”.
Today is a celebration of a classroom small win.
But everything takes time. Everything takes a trial and
error and trust that things will work out on its own.
For times that I get the chance to handle this class, I
really try to think of ways to make them speak more than I do. I know that I
have a lot to share, wanting them to speak up more and just reminding them that
it’s okay to make mistakes when speaking out loud.
Since tonight is the last class and there are only two of
them, I asked them to choose what their top 3 topics from
the last term and give their reasons and what they would want to learn more
about in the future and why. I let them decide on how many minutes they would
need to write their outlines, they said 5 minutes (but they bid for another 5 minutes) and gave them time to stand up and talk in
front of the class (3 minutes). Then,
we still have 5 minutes left, I asked them to rate themselves in terms of Voice
Projection, Confidence to Speak Up, Grammar, Thoughtfulness and Organization.
The boy rated himself 5-7-8-6, the girl rated herself
I met this boy last year and it had been quite a challenge
to let him talk, let alone speak what he really thinks about and how he feel.
When he comes to class, he would usually look sleepy and tired and just aloof.
Having him talk for longer than 3 words in a sentence is already a tiresome
challenge. But tonight, he was able to present to the class very well, he had
been more proactive. He was smiling and he received his completion certificate
with a big smile in his heart.
I met the girl on the same terms, she was really shy and her
voice would really go tiny whenever she is nervous. She got nervous while
speaking up tonight but she was able to compose her thoughts and reasons in a
comprehensive way. I always wonder why she had been looking so low about
herself and what she can do. I can only keep on telling her how good she is and
that I expect her to believe in herself because I am confident about her
abilities as well.
I told them, that I am also learning from them and with
them. I told them that as their teacher, it is my goal see them be able to
communicate their thoughts and insights fluently. They study so hard that the
world deserves to see and hear what they worked hard for.
We only get to see each other once a week, I can only
imagine how far more these kids could go if we work together in a daily
classroom setting, it would be more tiring, but for sure, we could do more, we
could all learn more.
Just like my any other wishes, one day, someday, I will go
back to that "real" classroom setting, teaching future English teachers still in Japan or maybe back in PH, who knows.... As long as it is THE classroom and MY classroom J
For now, let me linger in this small win we earned after 42 weeks.
I asked the boy what he studied in school today and he said he studied about cosmos and asked if he can sketch it up on the board. It took him less than 5 minutes to get this done and then later on explained the details of what he learned in that class in English to me and his classmate. It was quite fun! Way more interesting than what is on our textbook.