I had my first teaching practice for 2 hours this morning from 9:30am to 11:30 am. The class had kids between 4 and 6 years old. The place that I’m doing my teaching practice at is a language centre, so the bulk of students come here in the evenings and during the weekends to get extra English exposure.
All I can say for my first experience dealing with very young Vietnamese students is that they are gems for the most part but they bounce around like maniacs and lose attention quite quickly. One of the first things I saw when I entered the class is one boy (Jack) chasing another (John) and throwing kicks at him. Jack’s kind of a special case though and had to be spoken to a number of times.
I also did not prepare myself enough for the huge hurdle in getting very plain and simple instructions across. Of course the idea of translating simple ideas and instructions would be difficult and I realized that, but in this particular case, I didn’t realize how big the barrier in front of me was until I stood there in class trying to get them to do fun learning activities. My teaching supervisor said it was a necessary confrontation in order for me to learn and revise my lesson plans for next time. Overall, I felt I did a lot of things well, and the kids seem to love me. I made an ass of myself dancing to the Wiggly Woo song and I think that let them drop their guard down a bit for an unfamiliar face.
Speaking of face, I guess I had a five o’clock shadow and for some reason the students were mesmerized by it. One kid got up to point to my face then rub it. Several kids tugged at my arms and rambled on about random stuff as if they had known me for awhile. The experience reminded me of working at Petticoat Creek Daycamp and it was really nice. Except unlike camp, I had to make sure the kids learn to say “a circle”, “a square”, “a triangle”, “a heart”, and “how are you/I’m fine, thank you” before the end of class.
My next teaching practice involves older kids on Tuesday. From what I’ve seen in my in-class observations, the older kids are just as nuts but they grasp instructions better. My fingers are crossed that after having been thrown to the wolves, I can better prepare myself this time around.