Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Day 2...and Asian Stereotypes

I share my classroom with the Mandarin teacher and decided to stay in the room today during an eighth grade class because I wanted to do a little work, like a Sudoku or read up on the pending college football season or something else productive along those lines. The lesson dealt with the vocabulary for school subjects. After the first few, the Mandarin teacher wrote the next vocabulary word and its pronunciation on the board, but he wanted the students to guess which subject it represented. As a hint, he said that this was his favorite subject in school, at which point all of the students yelled out "MATH!!!" He resisted and offered a second clue that this subject helped him be so fit today, at which point a student responded, timidly, "math?" After saying that he always had to change clothes for this subject, a couple finally acknowledged he was referring to PE, but it was really difficult for me to refrain from bursting out laughing. Oh Asian stereotypes...

My second day went well and, fortunately, the materials I prepared for the eighth graders took the perfect amount of time. Tomorrow will be my first day in the content with ninth grade, so I'll have to wait and see how that pacing goes. Moving to a higher level, private school had me concerned for the amount and speed at which the students would complete work, but today affirmed that no matter the level, constructivism takes time. On that note, I was also informed my first training in the IB curriculum will take place a month from now. It will be good to have an in depth look at the Middle Years Programme (MYP) and start to visualize the long-term plan of IB in a middle school context.

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