Help me be a substitute teacher
February 18, 2014 1:59 PM Subscribe
I'm substituting as a German teacher for a class of seven Japanese students of varying ages and levels (and attendance.) Help, please?
posted by LoonyLovegood to Education (5 answers total)
The Japanese school where I used to work as an intern has recently re-hired me to substitute as a German teacher for an hour two times a week. (The usual teacher is on maternity leave and hasn't left any documentation on what she has previously done. I love it when people do that...) I know all the kids from before, and I know that their levels (and ages: 8 to 14!) vary. They're all in the advanced class because the school just bumps whoever is closest to good when the intermediate class is full (same with the beginner's class where kids get bumped to intermediate), and no one seems to actually expect the kids to really learn German, but I'm getting paid for this and I'd love to get the kids a little excited about their classes. (Plus doing pointless work might make me depressed.)
Over the past few weeks, we've had children visiting from other schools, so I mostly just did exercises like asking for directions and acting out dialogues on that topic. Now that all the visiting kids are gone, I finally entered into a sort of bigger project: Building upon directions, I have asked them all to think of their favourite vacation spot and describe a fictional holiday there. Where would they go, when (which season is best to travel there?), how, with whom and why? What would they do there? We have finished taking notes on these questions today, but that alone seems a little meager for a project which I would ideally use to grade them on. (I also have to grade the children despite having only taught them for close to two months.) If possible, I'd like to avoid giving them too much homework because the consensus seems to be that all their other classes are more important. I'm somewhat stuck as to what I should make them do in the next few lessons. (Also, one of the seven students is currently on vacation and won't be back until next week or the week after that, nobody could really tell me, so I don't know whether I should try to catch her up or wrap the project up before she comes back. I'd hate to make her feel badly about this because she already seems rather self-conscious.)
I'm supposed to speak mostly German in class, but all the kids know that I can speak Japanese and I know them well enough to suspect when one of them who isn't yelling "sensei!" to get my attention needs my help. If it really feels necessary to get the point across, I can do it in Japanese. Neither of the two full-fledged Japanese teachers who sit in my class have made any complaints about my style of teaching, but then again, as I said, I'm only here to sub for a while and no one really cares about the German lessons anyway.
Long story short: Could anyone please make some suggestions how to handle this class situation and how to proceed with the project? Veterans to newbie teacher?