Friday, September 02, 2005

First day teaching - YIKES!

There was no ER. Anyway, it’s better that I went to bed, because today was quite a day. A lovely premier to teaching, but not typical, I hope to God.
It started when Kati called me this morning and informed that that I should come an hour early, because the classes that they thought would start in a few weeks actually started now. Of all the times for them to get the paperwork together quickly... So I went in; the 4th-grade teacher told me that I didn’t have to teach that class today, because we’ll start next week. So in any case, I was back to two classes today. The next question, where would I be teaching them? The question of which classroom for which class seems to be largely determined by which room you can find the students in. My first class, a 6th grade optional conversation class, had only three students, so the “first day activity” was certainly not going to work. So I improvised, somewhat lamely, by showing them some pictures I had brought with and asking them about what there is to do in Szolnok. Mostly everything I said, they repeated to each other in Hungarian, with lots of other comments.
In any case, now I know what to prepare for next week. My second class was a completely different story. There were about 10 times as many kids, it felt like. I think, I tried to count in my head, there were actually 24. Kati came with and introduced me, and after she left the room, I bet there wasn’t a complete minute of quiet. They whispered and fidgeted and talked over me, and I was almost hoarse from trying to yell over them. They did love the activity, though, and caught on pretty quickly. Kati said the class will be split in two. Some of the students seemed really happy to be there, really excited. And some spoke relatively well. I think fewer would be better, but even so, I need some way of disciplining them more. The thing is, I just don’t know if that sort of talking is normal in Hungarian classrooms or not.
I would also feel better if I had had more activities planned. Daniel (or maybe it was Jessica) said that it’s always better to plan too much than too little. I agree.
After class I checked my email, and there was a long, long essay from Yerik about his first day, and how stressful and arduous it was for him, which I found surprising because he always seemed like such a laid-back person. He also “confided” (it was an open email to the group, hence the “”s) that he has never taught before, another thing I would never have guessed. It made me feel a little better that I’m not the only one having problems. Several of the other teachers write back, openly, and I sent him an SMS. No one is having a great time. For some, teaching is problematic, for others, the living conditions. But on the other hand, I think mostly everyone has something that they are, how can I say, happy with, or at least satisfied with. During orientation, Mary said that the key to getting through the hard parts was always having something to look forward to. I agree; my thing is the Internet that supposedly I might maybe be getting on Monday, if all goes well, if the phone line works, and if I can discover the number of the phone line, which in itself depends on if Angelika (the former tenant) stops by the flat to collect her mail. I was afraid that she might come over the weekend when I am out, so I actually composed a note to leave her. I’m recording it here in hopes that I might look back on it and laugh, “Oh Emily, how horrible your Hungarian used to be...”

mi van a telefonszama it a lakásban? Nekem már van egy mobiltelefon, de kell tudni a szama azért hogy Internet lenni.

So, I know the grammar sucks and not all the words are what I want, but I think she might be able to understand it.
A good thing about school is that I never have a full day of it; on my busiest day I think I only have about 5 hours to work. I was done and home by 2 today, and I ended up walking over the the market, which was lovely to wander through but I didn’t buy anything; I also went to the Plus next door where I did buy food (and drink) for the weekend. Maybe every time I feel down, I should go a little shopping. For about $10, I got two bags full of food and drink, including oranges, carrots, wine, some sort of vodka-liqueur, rice, and off-brand nutella. And some drink that I thought might be off-brand lemon Fanta, but I think it’s just pure lemon juice. Oooeeee, maybe it’s not for drinking.

1 comment:

Mary Morgan said...

What is a blog, anyway?
I've been thinking about blogs lately. After all, in my opinion there isn't a lot of difference between a Web site that updates regularly and a blog.
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