Sometimes you feel like a nut…
Since today is the 1st full moon of the new Lunar year, it is auspicious to eat nuts. I asked my students if they ate nuts today. One bright young man answered “No, I don’t like any kind of nuts. I don’t like peanuts, and I don’t like doughnuts”….but he didn’t realize he was saying anything funny.
In another class, I am stuck with a textbook that is way beyond the capabilities of my 6th grade students. Most of the students in that class just finished a book about clowns, colours, and shapes. In their current book, both the vocabulary and the subject matter are way off base. Consider today’s scenario: The title in itself was incomprehensible “Stereotypes: What are your initial reactions to the following occupations?” right. After lots of drawing and re-phrasing, they finally understood – then we started working our way down the list of occupations….only to be stopped short by occupations #8. The conversation went as follows…
-Students: “Teacher….nude model….what?”
-Me: “uhhhh, like a fashion model, but naked.”
-Me: “A person in a magazine – a model – but with no clothes”
-Students: “Teacher, draw!” (often, when they don’t understand a word, I’ll draw it on the board for them. This works well for some things, not so well for others)
-Me: “NO! No, no,no, no. It’s a model. (nods of comprehension), but no shirt, no pants, no …” (the lights go on in their eyes)
-Students: “Ugh – teacher! next question, please, next question!!”
I don’t know who chose that textbook for a bunch of elementary school kids, but today’s lesson wasn’t an uncommon one. They’ll be finished at the end of the month, so hopefully their next book will be a little more appropriate.