Saturday, September 19, 2009


I haven't talked about work or teaching much, mainly because the topic is a complete beast. I could write about my job for hours and hours and hours.

To give you the tip of the iceberg and spare you lots of over-inflated educational jargon, here is one bit o' teaching routine that every ESL teacher does everyday: roll call.

So I get into class a little before the bell rings. I write the date/day on the board. I also write the names of each kid in my class on the board in a column. I then ask a series of three questions to each child...questions that are repeated so often, on an hourly basis, that they haunt me in my dreams.

Madeline Teacher: Jack?
Jack: YesIamhere! (said without pause)
Madeline Teacher: How are you?
Jack: I am...good. (To be fair, there's usually a contemplative pause here)
Madeline Teacher: Did you do your homework?
Jack: Yes/I/did. (staccato-like)

I then give Jack a point next to his name on the board, and repeat the process.

Invariably, you get a lot of kids shouting at the top of their lungs I AM HERE, then I AM HAPPY, and then YES, thinking that they are comedic geniuses. Normally, I just roll my eyes and move on to the next kid. But one of my students, Beth, is legitimately funny.

Beth is extremely goofy looking. She has Coke-bottle thick lenses in her glasses, which magnify her eyes to twice their normal size. She usually wears her hair in two braided pigtails with bows tied in, parted down the center. And she has a huge gap in between her two front teeth. AND she has a lisp.

Here is the script for Beth's roll call:
Madeline Teacher: Beth?

Of course, all of my students in Beth's class have started copying her. Which is both obnoxious and adorable, of course...

1 comment:

  1. (i had commented on this earlier, but never saw it appaear.) it said. this is fabulous! i may have to steal Beth's line!