one of the teachers took compassionate leave this week and i was asked to cover three of her tutorial sessions. at first i was rather shocked (and irritated) at the extra work, but it turns out that it was the funnest part of the whole teaching stint.
i took two j1 classes (one of them twice). it’s infinitely more fun teaching a proper class (as opposed to a rojak session assembled from various sources) because the guys know each other. they function as a unit (well, more so than my enrichment sessions anyway), everyone’s so much more talkative, and receptive to the idea of fun.
it could also be that they don’t have a-levels coming up and thus are much less worried about homework right now.
whatever the reason, the effect is that they actually respond to whatever crappy jokes i make. no awkward silence – either laughter (if genuinely amused) or groans (if not), but overall, a pleasant atmosphere is built!
like when they first stepped into class and were looking suspiciously at me, wondering who the heck i was and where their teacher was.
“Well, as most of you have noticed by now, I’m not Mrs D.”
immediately, some laughter starts, and the tension is gone. then i go on to the lesson proper, pausing now and then to insert some crappy comments, and having some of the students actually converse back!
05S23 was just so funny. i met them again for a second time today, during their last period.
“OK. One of you requested that I let you off early today.”
-class is suddenly very attentive-
“Let’s play a game then. Does anyone here actually know my name?”
-class is suddenly very silent, then some joker ventures a desperate guess-
“Mr Shuai Ge?”
(actually i don’t remember if i’d mentioned my name the first time i saw them, maybe not! haha. but they got to go home 5min earlier anyway, not that that’s a lot)
to cut a long story short, we had fun. and i managed to cover the tutorial questions anyway. it was these sessions which restored my morale this week, which restored some faith in my own teaching abilities.
i can be a good teacher. and i shall. one that can educate, one that can interest, one that can inspire.
just give me a subject i actually know how to teach.