Tuesday, August 9, 2011

So...I'm a Teacher...

Yesterday was my first day of teaching at MLS, and I think all in all it went pretty well. I started the day with my 8th grade dance class, which was six eighth-grade girls, some of whom already had some dance experience (Disco-Fox is a popular dance in Germany. It hasn't really spread, that I know of, but one video of it I saw looked almost like Hustle, but it's not, so I don't yet know the basics of it; I'm sure I will learn.). We will be probably about 9, next class, with the possible inclusion of a boy who is more or less auditing the class when he has time (what he's actually doing is coming to it as an AG, or extracurricular activity). So needless to say I'll be teaching everyone how to lead and follow, because otherwise it would just be silly. It went pretty well, though teaching dance in German was interesting. My technical dance vocabulary in German was pretty limited, so that's my homework for teaching dance classes. That, and make CDs so I have plenty of music to use. But I think it will go well.

My English class went well, too, I believe. A couple kids seemed a little too cool for school at the start, but I was still fairly pleased with how they responded. I want the class to discuss more, though, since right now it's very....teachy. Obviously, I am supposed to be teaching, but what I really want to accomplish with the class is making them more comfortable having a discussion in English; expressing their opinions and arguing their cause, things like that. I may end up playing Devil's Advocate a bit in class, but we'll see how things go. I may not need to. Should be interesting, regardless. I think they're a good class, though, and we'll see how the short writing assignment I gave them comes back. It was very strange, also, standing in front of a class room at the chalkboard. Kind of a surreal experience, in some ways, like I wasn't sure it was real. But it was a good experience.

The other teachers have been very helpful, both in helping me find resources to plan lessons, etc, and also just in helping me with daily functioning at the school. Everyone has been very nice, and tomorrow I'm sitting in on a 12th grade English class, because their opening unit is on the US, so we'll be having a discussion. Should be interesting, and maybe fun. Plus I'll get my name out there a little more, so that maybe my conversation classes (which I have to advertise for) will be better attended. I'm not too concerned, since small groups are good, too. I also hope to do a dance AG, since not everyone can take the classes, and that would be a little more free.

Things will get a bit busier after I add the two or so conversation groups, and also Center Stage, the English theater group, and possibly the dance class. Right now my teaching schedule is actually rather meager, but I know I'll be gradually busier as it goes, most likely. On a wonderful note, I have found Blues and Lindy Hop in Heidelberg. Now I just need to figure out a way to get there and back, since trains stop running to Rimbach rather early at night. So either I need a friend here with a car who wants to learn to swing dance, or else I need to find someone in the scene in Heidelberg I can crash with after dances. I'm emailing the groups' aliases to find out. :-)

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