New Starts

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April 12, 2011 by k. liz

Well, we are in our final term for the school year.

In all honesty, it was one of the more depressing first days of class I’ve had. (You know, of the four first days I’ve had thus far.) Our Prep School sends students through an A, B, C, D cycle. All the incoming students start in level A in October, and as they pass through the levels, they should ideally be in level D this term, and then off to University next year.

I’m teaching level B, again. Needless to say, my students were all depressed on Monday morning. We had a 24 hour thunderstorm, so add in dark skies, rainy weather, and the fact that you just failed, again . . . it was a long day. In a way, hopefully this term will go smoothly, since I have a lot of materials already prepared, but at the same time every lesson will require a lot of creativity and motivation on my part to get the students going. Oh, and I forgot to mention . . . attendance? Less than half of my students came to class yesterday.

But . . . depressing day behind me . . . today I woke up to snow, and only two classes on my schedule! Not sure how to feel about the snow in April, but it was a beautiful sunny afternoon, so that was nice.

Yesterday, my classes were mostly just warmers and icebreakers. I decided this term to allow my students to choose their own consequences. So, some classes will be paying me every time they use their cell phones, others were happy to just relinquish their treasured mobile devices. They also chose their consequences for being late, using the computer, not doing homework, and not bringing their books. We’ll see how this goes.

I have also seen a lot about motivation recently, and I feel it is difficult to adequately motivate my students because all they are concerned with is passing the exam and getting the right score. Learning seems to pale in importance to scores. So, I decided to capitalize on this perspective, and I had my students write their goal for their quiz scores. I want to work with them throughout the term to make them actually think about how their studying, and their effort is correlated to their scores.

We’ll see how this goes!

Oh, and on a bright note, my husband and I walked through the rain on Sunday to find the local zoo. It is actually the biggest on in Turkey! And I’m so glad we went! I loved it. Such a good break away from . . . buildings and being stuck inside. Loved watching all the amazing animals. The bear just recently had two cubs, and they were adorable! I must say though, that zoos are incredibly gifted in hiding their elephants. I’m not sure where they put them! But, by far, my favorite part was the monkey house! Of course! Isn’t this guy adorable?

Well, this was just a little bit of a rambling blog . . . not too much going on yet in the semester, but I’m working on some ideas, so we’ll see how things go!

 

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