Friday, September 07, 2007
Our Duties as Teachers
Most Interac ALTs (assistant language teachers), including myself, are embedded in one or two schools, rarely more than three. However sometimes we are asked to visit other schools, usually those of the elementary variety. Before the day of the visit arrives we recieve a fax of the official request from the school describing what periods and grades we will be teacher plus a list of what they would like taught. The typical requested lesson plan will ask for "easy english" vocabularly, an activity, and foreign culture. (I usually consider myself just being there as qualifying for the foreign culture) I always add a further bit to the lesson plan which I call, "a demonstration of my height." It consists of, as you might guess from its title, me demonstating my height by touching something relatively high, like a door frame or sign. Though I have been to schools with teachers just as tall as me, this bit seems to always impress them and provoke shouts of, "sugoii!!" (great!!) But I digress. Invariably, during these visits, the kids crowd you and, especially with the five and six-year, hug you and are quite affectionate and exciteable. In fact, it's not unusualy for me to leave a class trailing a half-class of kids off of my arms and legs. However, usually they don't include this in the request forms. In a recent request to another ALT the school, apparantly in a fit of honesty, they wrote as follows: "We'd like to shake hands with you and hold your hand. Then, we'd like to have the opportunity to touch you." -And what an opportunity it is.