Thursday, June 17, 2010

she was dancing to the music when she smoked marijuana

today was my first day to teach actual students.. yes, day 3.

the only way I can really emphasize how nervous i was is to tell you that 30 minutes before my class, I was racking my brain for the slow-breathing relaxation exercises I learned in yoga. and yes, repeating tranquillo in my head over and over.

really, there was a lot to be nervous about. first of all, i have neverrrrr ever taught before...unless you count swim lessons. no, those don't count. so there's that... there's also the fact that if my first teaching experience was an absolute hot, steamy, hell then I would seriously have to re-think my quarter life crisis and all that it entails. this would probably mean seriously reconsidering whether or not teaching english is for me... it would most likely mean moving back to texas as soon as this certification class is finished.

anyway, enough build up. i am happy to report that i absolutely loved it. I mean really, really loved it. it's almost weird how much i enjoyed teaching. to be honest, i never thought that i would be that into it. i think that being here, in costa rica, and wanting soooo badly to know spanish has given me great insight of my students and their desires to know english just as desperately. we're likeminded in that right and it makes it easy to connect with them.

i won't get too into the nitty gritty of the lesson, it's really not that interesting. i will say that i was given the advanced students today (as opposed to beginners or intermediates). their lesson was so advanced that, yesterday, i had to teach it to myself first... ok, i lied, i will get into the nitty gritty, otherwise there is no way i could explain the title of this blog entry...

basically, the theme of my lesson was "accidents" (which could have easily become the theme of my costa rica trip if the lesson hadn't gone right). by the end of the class, my students needed to be able to form an intelligent sentence about an accident they've had in the past. it's not that simple though. they needed their sentence to use a 'past continuous' verb and a 'simple past' verb...basically in this exact format;

subject + was/were + verb (past continuous) + the rest (optional) + when + subject + verb (simple past) + the rest (once again, optional).
super complicated right? here's an example...

"she was walking on the beach when she fell in the sand."


"you were reading the grammar portion of my blog when you fell asleep."

anyway, by the end of the class they were totally getting it. they're awesome. so to test them some more, I had them watch the beginning of youtube videos in which an activity is taking place. i then paused it and let them create their own ending using the sentence structure from the lesson. when they were done, they read them aloud. and then, finally, i played the rest of the video so they could see if they had guessed the correct ending.

video 1: boy riding bike down the road. no big deal. everyone's guesses were pretty accurate (just so you know, he hit a pole).

video 2: girl is dancing in her room. i pause video and gather responses;

laydee: "the girl was dancing a lot when she slipped on the floor"
sara: "she was dancing in her room when she broke her ankle"
marvin (with a totally straight face): "she was dancing to the music when she smoked marijuana"

the girl fell on her back and broke a light (look it up on youtube under 'dancing fail'). there is no marijuana in the video, anywhere. at all. marijuana had not even been discussed in class. at all. we had not even gone over the verbs 'smoking' or 'smoked' yet. it was really hard not to piss my pants in laughter...really hard. i love marvin.

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