Trying To Put The Finger On The Problem Child

, , , , , | Learning | September 19, 2017

(The school I work at has a great program in the summer, where international students come to Canada and check out the school. During their time, they experience Canadian culture and practice their English skills. We do have some young students come as well, and I work with a group of 7-11’s. Before class starts, I notice that there is some bullying happening. Since they’re the younger group, often when I speak to them, I use a lot of visuals or hand signs to communicate. I decide to address the issues I have seen.)

Me: “Morning, everybody. Before we get started, I just wanted to remind everybody about the rules we decided on for the class. One was treating each other with respect, and I did not see that this morning. Remember: in this classroom, we only say positive things. So only this:” *gives thumbs up* “None of this:” *gives thumbs down*

Student: “Or this.” *gives me the middle finger*

(I had a moment of shock, and then told the student to wait outside while I called the supervisor to come talk to him. However, I was really thinking about what a good segue that was, and how I couldn’t admit I was impressed.)

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Acting Circumloquacious

| Learning | March 26, 2016

(I teach English to Spanish speakers. Some of the students couldn’t pronounce “circumstance”. They keep pronouncing the first syllable as in “seer”. This class in particular was mostly composed of men.)

Me: “It’s ‘circumstance’, as the ‘sir’ in ‘Yes, sir! No, sir!’.”

Student #1: “Like in ‘circus’?”

Me: “Yes, exactly!”

Student #2: “Like in ‘circle’?”

Me: “Very good!”

Student #3: *very excitedly* “Like in ‘circumcision’!!!”

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Looks Like Couches Can Make You Fit After All

| Learning | October 15, 2015

(One of my students isn’t great at spelling. His writing topic is “how can an unhealthy person get fit?”)

Student: “People can get fit by doing more exercise by going to the gym and getting a personal couch.”

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Military Service Will Eat Through Their Childhood

| Learning | October 14, 2015

(My Iranian student is telling me about different ways people can shorten their compulsory military service time.)

Student: “And they can get two months taken off for every child they consume.”

Me: *laughing so hard I’m almost falling over*

Student: “That wasn’t the right word, was it?”

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