Today in the Classsroom: A Matter of Delicate Balance

I wish to thank my bosses for the teaching loads packaged with diverse students–from rawdy to retentive, from gaudy to well, a little bit reserved.  Really, I’m not complaining, except for one minor concern.  When can I have my ‘effin class lists? I haven’t completed filling out my load form yet coz I haven’t figured out how many students are in my classes. Don’t leave me broke until the end of the month. I still have to feed myself and my savings get thinner and thinner.

This day, it’s all a matter of delicate balance,  as the line from the poem “Fruit Salad” by Jaime An Lim posited.  Indeed, other than life itself, classroom is one big bowl of fruit salad.  It’s sweet, it’s sour, it’s fresh, it’s rotten.  Just when I thought that one class would stay as good as I expected it to be, how now, a disaster loomed over.

Here’s a wrap-up of what happened inside the classroom the whole day:

  • I gave a quiz to my remedial english class this morning.  I don’t know if it was all my fault, dictating the choices, but the quiz turned into a disaster.  Most of them got very low, probably because they didn’t know the spelling of certain words like nitty-gritty, secretary-treasurer or even the name of their teacher (yes, I even asked that one).  So, to save them from the debacle, I let them think of a word that if linked to the words I wrote on the board, would form a compound word. And my throat almost popped out from explaining.  What word can you connect with lamp, script, and mark so that each word would form into a compound word? One answered birth. Seriously?
  • In my Philippine literature class, I discussed the use of sensory language in poetry through the poem “Fruit Salad.”  After culling out the essential elements contained in the poem, I let my students prepare the fruit salad based on what the wife has prepared for her husband. I just thought that they enjoyed it and captured the real taste of life through the flavor of each ingredient. I’ve been doing the activity since last year. I hope I won’t be dubbed as the fruit salad teacher.
  • I wasn’t sure if my students in English 101 were awed watching Freedom Writers, but as soon as I cut the movie, they were all dumbfounded and I had to say, “Guys, it’s time already.”  Or maybe because they didn’t want to go out.  The speechlab is airconditioned.
  • A Pakistani student in my other remedial english class just stole my attention.  My students kept asking him and he was really gracious to entertain them.  At least, among my well-deserved students who take the subject, someone interesting stood out. This bunch is kinda rawdy especially that they’re acting like elementary kids.  I kept on reminding them to behave like college students already. But one who came from a special education school really showed how special she is.
  • And my day at school ended in a ballyhoo inside the speechlab.  It was my first meeting with my students in my other English 101 class.  I had it right when I followed the activity as stated in the skillbook.  Effective enough, and I had fun with my students actually.  Except that when I asked them to describe themselves, most of them used the same adjectives– black hair, brown eyes, skinny, talkative.  Surprisingly, they could recognize one another.  Yeah, we played guessing game inside the speechlab.  They had to guess the name of their classmates who fit the descriptions.  My own way of introduction.

Just a parting note, whoever encoded the first part f the skillbook, kindly check some grammar and spelling lapses.  Be sensible.  Not sinsible. Thank you.

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