dumbing down

looking for the perfect evaluation tool for a large class is painful. i'm teaching a same general class for the third time in my two-year teaching stint here. my assess my students by seeing how much they can transfer what they have learned in new contexts... in other words, i'm testing similar principles but using different linguistic items

the two previous classes i taught found this type of assessment fine. it is my present class that really surprises me. perhaps it is because the two other classes before have been with me since they started their beginning course in general english. this third group is new to me. they've had two different teachers prior to me. and the ways the other two different teacher used were different... actually the first one is similar to how i teach, very communicative and in line with the direct method, the second teacher, however, did a lot of grammar translation with a direct method twist... making the students prone to memorize instead of understand.

i spoke to my supervisor, and she advised me to go ahead and drill them more, perhaps considering dropping creative language output from the students' side.

i've never taught in this fashion before. i am going to go ahead with it. i learned chinese with this method many years ago. bleh.

Who's Got Your Back?

A group of students came into the office today to share their concerns with me. They were unable to follow the classroom's progress. I asked them whether I spoke to fast. They told me that I spoke slow enough, but it would probably help if I wrote what I spoke on the whiteboard. I agreed to that.

They added that the previous class (I'm teaching the second level of an English class) handled tests very differently from what I am currently doing. They would have had a similar practice, or rather a mock test before the actual test. In other words, they were being drilled and prepared for the impending evaluation. I've never thought of doing that before for my personal opinions regarding tests. But maybe this is a 'wake-up' call to rethink of my teaching/evaluation strategies.

I'm glad the students came to see me. At least they came to tell me the problems they face at the very beginning of the semester. Rather than waiting till the end of the semester for me to find out only after they have completed the evaluation.

Teachers, we're the ones who have to watch out for our own backs.

Lantana Hotel, Pattaya for Fiona's Bday

Last weekend a group of us went down to Pattaya to celebrate Fiona's birthday. We've been doing okay so far in birthday celebrations. It all began with sisters Deanna and Fiona's birthday last year. This year we did a big one for Deanna and Big Mama, and for Fiona, we actually left Bangkok! The next birthday would probably be a trip outside of Thailand :)
The Birthday Girl, Fiona, wore matching purple earrings :)
The awesome bed. It was still rather hard. I found out only after doing a jump and diving straight into it. I sometimes forget that I'm skin and bones ... and fart.
Old School Telephone still works!
The room was nicely furnished. Though the walls were a little too creepy green, the hotel definitely bumped the standard of the things you find in here. We thought we got an ipad too (look at the black folder thingy on the vanity). Roy was amazed at how silent the hairdryer was. Plus, everything in the minibar was free! It should be anyways, it's 4000 Baht per room (we got a good deal though :P)
The bathroom. You could actually see the outline of the person inside. I wasn't too excited about this. Especially when someone stood in front of me while i was seated on the throne doing my business.
Not a lamp I'd die to have but something I would like to see in my room :)
Some random stools I thought you'd find in Loft or Propaganda.
I think we were on the good side of Pattaya. It was less trashy and perhaps due to the major hotel chains on this stretch, there were less third-raters roaming the streets. There were still some though. In the evening while walking to Fiona's third surprise (she's so lucky she had three!) A farang walked by us and a lady boy marched him/herself up to him and started grabbing him all over. Plain disgusting. Pattaya is like someone's dream which went awry. Like the pyramids that were built to withstand the sands of time but ended up being swallowed by the element it is in.