We had been freaking out…

At this point in PST, I have taught twice. This blog post is a bit overdue, mostly because it’s awkward to right about how awkward I am as a teacher right now.

I have taught before, but it was in Cambodia with girls that I was extremely familiar with and my co-teacher was my best friend. This is different.

Contrary to popular belief, Cambodia and Ukraine are vastly different in a few ways, as I am quickly learning.

Back to the lesson. Emily and I were tasked with teaching 11th form, which is the final grade in the Ukrainian school system. (That doesn’t sound too bad, right?)

Our lesson was a Monday. At 8:30 in the morning, aka the first class of the day. We had to teach vocabulary about future plans and the past, present and future perfect continuous tenses. There was no way it could fail.

We had been counting on success.

We had been preparing to teach.

We had been freaking out.

These are all examples of the past perfect continuous tense if you were unaware, as I was.

We started the lesson with introductions, presented the vocabulary and went over the grammar. We created a worksheet that had a typo, which was a rookie move on our part, but I’d call the lesson a success overall. We both learned a lot and it gave me many things to work on going forward…

…which brings me to my second lesson.

Madge and I taught the seventh form. We saw this class last week and knew they were a pretty interactive class.

Our lesson plan included mostly review, we went over a bit of grammar and reviewed the vocabulary words from last week. The focus was on what students like to do after school, so one of our activities was for them to ask a partner what they liked to do after school. Once they had asked each other, they each presented what their partner liked to do after school.

It was fun to hear what these students are interested in. We also had to teach advantages and disadvantages of the internet. The students placed pictures of advantages and disadvantages on the chalkboard and we discussed them. That got awkward because we asked some of them why they chose what they did and they just stared at us. Teaching English when I don’t speak much Ukrainian is forcing me to be ok with awkward silences. When I taught the 11th form, the class was full of them. Seventh form was better and I’ve got high hopes for the two classes I’m teaching next week.

The definite highlight of the class was a word search that we made with the vocabulary words. I remember doing those all the time when I was in elementary school, so I really appreciate that I can use tools and methods from my educational career to teach. The students loved it, but we didn’t have time to finish, so it got added to homework.

Next week I’ll be teaching the third form and the eighth form. I’m learning to be ok with awkward silences and I’m working on how I present information and interact with students. I mostly feel awkward right now, but I can see myself improving and I’ve got a few more weeks of PST to get ready.

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