Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Class, Clase, Klasse

After a slow two months, I finally got a subbing job today for two 6th grade ESOL Language Arts and Social Studies classes. The first class consisted of students who know intermediate to little English and I really struggled with a few of the students understanding the classwork. One girl was clearly ahead of all the other kids in proficiency and she constantly showed it off by finishing early and announcing it to the class.

But seriously, these kids were some of the best I've had. 6th graders don't care if you act like a goofball- they think it's cool. At least these kids did. I got to use a bit of my acting ability to help explain lessons to some of the kids struggling to understand. And they helped me learn some Spanish, too. We talked about words for senses and feelings today, and I learned a handful of Spanish vocabulary words.

I told the kids to be patient with me since I don't speak much Spanish and to politely correct my pronunciation as we went along. I said if they'd help me learn some Spanish that I would teach them some German. At the end of the day during the last class change I heard random voices calling out, "Guten Tag!" and "Auf wiedersehen!" I also showed them similarities between English, Spanish, and German words, hence, the title of this post.

The teacher didn't leave the best instructions for me, but she did leave a lot of work, which in some ways was good and others bad. It can go both ways- too little work and you're scrambling to come up with something quickly and too much can make you feel obligated to fit in every assignment. Neither class was able to get everything done on her plan and we had to fudge a few assignments because the directions were unclear.

The second class had a lot of trouble with using the glossary and index in their social studies books. I chalked it up to them being ESOL students, but I couldn't help but wonder if any of the other 6th graders on their teams could use them.

I need to start updating with some of my other subbing stories. Some of them are pretty interesting.

I plan on mailing in my application for the Masters of Art in Teaching at Mercer University by the end of this week and I've been printing resumes like a mad woman to mail to schools prior to the February 28th Gwinnett County Schools job fair. There's one school in particular that I've subbed at twice that I reeeeeally want to work for in the Fall so I'm crossing my fingers.