This is an army of crazy children

Teaching English is going much better in my young adult class. The second class I had with them was fantastic and I feel confident going in there now. I’m actually enjoying teaching English! Today will be our third session, and we are learning common adjectives and verbs. I have a lovely picture of a smiling, tall Shaq I found on the internet so they can practice adjectives.

The 5-6 year olds I teach in the morning are another story. There are over 24 of them, first of all, so they are highly unmanageable just because of their size. Then, it is their first time in school, so they know very little and when I try to control them in English, they just keep talking. Today a kid brought poppers to class. You know, those firecrackers you throw on the ground and they pop. My translator unfortunately does not translate fast enough to get them to be quiet. There are just too many of them. When I go around and see how they are doing, there are twenty questions in Arabic coming at me and the translator can’t keep up with them because he is also helping the kids. In addition to all of this, there is a girl that cries every time I come. I’m not sure that it is me–maybe she cries other times–but all three times I have come to teach, she starts crying. Am I scary? If I had maybe 10 five and six year olds, I would be so happy. That I can handle. I may need to bring out the fluffy puff jar I used at theatre camp so they can earn rewards if they are good, and lose fluffy puffs when they are not listening. “Fluffy puffs” are just those pom pom things that you used to use for crafts as a kid. They earn pom poms by listening and doing activities really well. If the jar gets filled, then they all get candy or a field trip, etc. This may be the only way and now I will have to find something to substitute for pom poms in Nablus.

I can’t wait to start theatre class on Sunday!


One response to “This is an army of crazy children

  1. One thing that worked for me when I was working with kids (especially in larger groups) was this:

    You: (normal speaking volume) “If you can hear me, clap once.”
    (A few students close to you clap.)
    You: “If you can hear me, clap twice.”
    (More students hear you this time, because they heard their classmates clap.)
    You: “If you can hear me, clap three times.”

    By the end, typically the whole class knows you are trying to get their attention because they’ve heard the clapping. I’ve never used it with kids as young as 5 or 6, but it works like a charm with ten-year-olds.

    Miss you!

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