Sunday, November 29

animal planet

This wonderful portrait was created by Harald Löffler at Eye Of The Tiger, a very talented photographer who once created an amazing calendar and sold it in aid of 21st Century Tiger.
Here is his story: "Once upon a time there was a national park in India. For a long time there lived a healthy Tiger population in this park. In 2005, during a very short period of time (about one month), all the Tigers fell prey to poachers. When I heard about this horrible incident I decided to create a limited edition of my “Cats Unlimited 2006” calendar"... Read further.

Monday, November 23

challenging months

I’ve been out there teaching again after a year break.

These three months have been the toughest ever! I seemed to have never taught before. The knowledge obtained at the teachers training college, the university and eight year experience of teaching disabled kids, handicapped kids, normal secondary school kids, weird teenagers, talented teenagers, really hard-working guys and a few grown-ups DID NOT help. I had found myself absolutely frustrated by the end of the first two weeks of teaching at a primary school.

There are two classes that specialize in languages, so the children have been learning French 5 (!) times a week since the first form.

I “inherited” the third formers and the fourth formers. Both of the classes had never written a single sentence or a vocabulary test and their previous year activity books had been almost empty. Therefore my challenge number one was to teach them a little Writing and Reading. The children were as shocked as their parents when I made the pupils write new words in vocabularies, sentences in activity books and even *huge* compositions of 4-5 sentenced .

The second challenge was Testing. Another shock arrived along with the first vocabulary test, which was a total failure. It took me and the children a few days to recover and then I kept on pushing. They must hate me by now, BUT I’m looking at it from a different point of view:

-My pupils are now able to work in pairs,
-create compositions of 5-6 sentences,
-Talk on two serious topics: “my family” and “my home”.
Moreover, they actually know many words by sight not by ear, as I’m not always around to pronounce the words so that the pupils guess the meanings.

Am I an evil teacher? Could be, but foreign languages are vital nowadays.

I also teach second formers. Their class specializes in something else and it is their first learning-a-foreign-language year. It’s so cool and so much fun! We sing and dance, learn alphabet and transcription symbols, paint and what not. On the way I teach them a bit writing, reading and speaking so that they will not be too stressed when serious stuff begins.