I've discovered a love for writing in the last three or so months, and with this comes a love for (yes... here it comes) grammar. I don't really enjoy the specifics of everything, but I do love knowing that a sentence is well-constructed and organized in a way to just ooze meaning. (And yes to all the other grammar freaks out there... I do realize that sometimes I write poorly. Get your own blog.)
English teaching works quite well then, right? One of the things I worked on with my seventh and eighth grade classes this week was superlatives. For a nice and easy introduction, and to see how well they work in groups, I had them create a top-10 list. They were responsible for coming up with 10 tips on "Learning English" (seventh grade) or "Being a Good Friend" (eighth grade). A firm believer in the fact that I should never ask a student to do something I haven't done myself, I created a top-10 list for being a good teacher. I wrote them down and put them in order from least to greatest.
You had better keep reading, because there is an AMAZING story at the end of this posting, relating rather specifically to number 10 on the list.
1. Like your students.
2. Know the material.
3. Be prepared for class.
4. Stay flexible.
5. Be a fun person.
6. Show students you care.
7. Be creative.
8. Be a good listener.
9. Answer all questions.
10. Know how to laugh.
I was in class 5B yesterday, and we were hitting the adjectives pretty strongly. One of the activities towards the end of class was to make a sentence more interesting. Remember, these are 5th grade students, age 10.
The sentence was: "The dog jumped far."
"V~, would you like to read your sentence for number three to the class?"
"Yes, Teacher Stephanie. The fu**ing dog jumped far."
"The fu**ing dog jumped far. My brother speaks English and he says a lot and it describes dog."
(Pause as "Teacher Stephanie" turns toward the board and shakes with silent laughter for approximately 60 seconds. Because friends, he used the word correctly. Also, if you are so inclined, drop the f-bomb aloud with a Romanian accent. It'll blow your mind.)
"Well, friends. That really isn't a very nice word in English. So I don't want it in my classroom, okay?"
"But what it mean?"
And then I broke my own rule number nine.