Tuesday, November 16, 2010
"Would you mind not being a bunch of ass-clowns?"
Not a lot of energy coming from my students today, which was a bit of a let-down after my relatively high energy open class on Monday morning. We had a fun lesson - I actually used the G20 Global Etiquette Campaign to create the lesson: basically turning a rule ("Don't spit") into a polite suggestion ("Would you mind not spitting?").
I made a hell of an impressive powerpoint to accompany the lesson - full of zany examples of bad etiquette to get some laughs from the kids. For high energy students, this lesson is golden - it builds to having students looking at wordless graphics representing examples of situations where people (namely Koreans - hey... they are the target of this campaign) could be a bit more polite in public, then creating a dialogue using the focus language:
A) "Would you mind waiting for people to get off of the subway before you get on?"
B) "Of course not."
C) "Thank you very much."
After we share these created dialogues in groups, teams are asked to then create a polite suggestion for yours truly - Teacher Dave. I had some creative ones: "Would you mind coloring your hair black?", "Would you mind giving us your love?", "Would you mind not using sound effects?" (I often make zany sounds when I hand-out worksheets - I thought all kids enjoyed it, but not young Min-ho, it seems).
Anyway, today's kids were so bloody low-energy that nothing was working. Didn't let it get me down today though. I just gave the appropriate polite suggestions to offending students: "Would you mind not yawning?", "Would you mind not sleeping?". It is often too easy to let the classroom standards and expectations of decent behaviour get to me. Today it didn't, and I think it served me well in the end.