Published: January 2nd 2012January 2nd 2012
This House Believes That...
Two teams competing during our first week of debates.
I've survived my first week with the kiddies! I teach three different classes -- Dartmouth, Michigan and Illinois, which are elementary school classes at a basic level. The classes here are all named after American universities (which I suppose the kids' parents are aspiring for them to go to one day). I teach debating to all three classes, and I also teach reading to Dartmouth. I have a quota that I have to reach in terms of textbook work.
As I mentioned in my last post, the debate style is pretty hardcore. My knowledge of Asian Parliamentary Style Debate is lacking, to say the least. Or even debating in general. I know that debate clubs are big in the USA, but I don't think they're as popular in Canada.
My three classes are all really nice. Illinois is probably the best behaved. They are the lowest academically. I'm wondering if it's just shyness right now, since they're only supposed to speak English during my classes. I only saw them for two periods on Thursday. I only did icebreakers with them during first period Thursday, since I thought I was going to teach them on Friday as well, but then
My Teaching Schedule
I do get some planning time, but marking and planning definitely keep me busy!
my schedule got shifted. I felt like my kids were unprepared for the debates on Saturday.
My Michigan class behaves more like a normal class. They're really friendly and eager to learn. They were really happy when I gave them some time to finish their homework in class on Thursday.
Dartmouth is quite different from my other two classes. The boys in that class are...boys. I teach them most often at the end of the day, so they're pretty squirrel-y by the time I see them. I try to incorporate at least one game into every class to keep things fresh and to get them moving during a lesson.
One thing all of these classes have in common (and in common with Canadian classes) is the gender divide. None of the girls want to sit near the boys and vice versa. I wonder if they have a word for cooties in Korean. I think today I'm going to make the kids stand in a boy/girl pattern during a game.
Every Saturday, the kids have formal debates. Two classes of similar level are placed together. This week, I had SNU and MIT. I revied APD format with them before drawing names out of a hat to form teams. This week's topics involved school uniforms, corporal punishment, school lunches and classes on Saturdays. The kids did better than I expected. My coordinator, Brandon, came in at one point to observe, right as a student interrupted a speech to ask for a "Point of Information". More info on Asian Parliamentary debate can be found at this website
One nice bonus is that I have Saturday afternoons off, since the debates are only in the morning.