The One Where Mr. Dan Teaches Biology

Hi Grandma! Here is your Danny in action in the classroom đŸ™‚

Creepin' on Mr. Dan as he talks about something science-y to students. It's my free period :)

Creepin’ on Mr. Dan as he talks about something science-y to students. It’s my free period, so it’s okay…

I wish he was singing the “Reduce Reuse Recycle” song by Jack Johnson. But not all of my wishes come true.

Mr. Dan teaches 10th graders in this class.

These boys glanced back at me and then dutifully looked forward so I could take this picture. Smart boys.

The lecture topic was “Conserving Biodiversity.” I lasted 10 minutes, if that. But that’s not a reflection of his teaching skills; that’s more a reflection of my attention span.

 

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Adventures in Faux Teaching

So for the last two weeks I’ve been subbing for the high school English teacher (sidenote: she’s a freaking superstar…totally set me up for success in her lesson plans and prepared materials.) while she was away taking an intensive course for her Masters degree. She’s a high school English teacher. A high school English teacher…in a school in Thailand with Thai students. Like, she has to have a gift to be in this position, am I right?!

I draw on a computer and make marketing plans for a living. What’s this business about red pens and papers?

Grading tests while students read "SIr Gawain and the Green Knight."

Grading tests while students read “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.”

Can you see how this could possibly be a stressful, stretching period of my time overseas? I was up for the challenge. Sort of. Dan was super supportive and was so convinced that I was up for the challenge that I begrudgingly agreed so that I wouldn’t be a complete Debbie Downer. I am thrilled to say that this afternoon was my last day in a long time — cross your fingers — that I will be reviewing grammar, teaching literary terms and leading class discussions on novels and short stories with 10th, 11th and 12th graders. (Though I must admit that I enjoyed watching clips of Monty Python’s Quest for the Holy Grail in British Literature to illustrate how the Middle Ages may have possibly kinda been like.)

Anyway, please enjoy how my formerly temporary typical day unfolds:

12th graders posing ever so sweetly & quietly (lies!) for me. The truth is told in the face in the background.

12th graders posing ever so sweetly & quietly — lies! That face in the background comically speaks truth.

Following a bevy of boys to the flag pole. They have a gift of walking but not quite moving forward.

Following a bevy of boys to the flag pole. They have a gift of walking but not quite moving forward.

Homeroom students who were on flag duty. I snapped this when the national anthem finished, obviously.

Watching littles walk by on their way to the library.

Watching littles walk by on their way to the library.

Dodging big kids and letting them pass as the warning bell ring-a-lings.

Dodging big kids and letting them pass as the warning bell ring-a-lings.

Shoes are not allowed in the classrooms. So sneakers galore!

Shoes are not allowed in the classrooms. So sneakers galore!

Oh hey! My view for roughly  the next four hours. They would have you believe they're writing, but can you spy the ones who look asleep/zombified?

Oh hey! My view for roughly the next four hours. They would have you believe they’re writing, but can you spy the ones who look asleep/zombified? (The girl in the very back made Dan literally laugh out loud.)

I made the 11th graders read in small groups before we discussed study guide questions for their novel.

I made the 11th graders read in small groups before we discussed study guide questions for their novel.

The final bell rang! And these happy faces greeted me as I came trudging down the stairs -- my favorite 9th graders. Yes, I play favorites...which is another reason why I'm terribly suited to be a teacher.

The final bell rang! And these happy faces greeted me as I came trudging down the stairs — my favorite 9th graders. Yes, I play favorites…which is another reason why I’m terribly suited to be a teacher.

What did I learn from my adventures in faux teaching? Well I learned that though I adore high schoolers, my strengths are more akin to that of a motivational speaker who lives in a van down by the river than that of an academically centered teacher who cares about important things like grades and tardies. (Can you tell that I wasn’t the greatest of students when I was growing up?)

BUT, I am also happy to report that I am walking away from this time of subbing with many new relationships with these kids and a greater respect for teachers, especially for Dan and what he must be experiencing as a first year teacher here. And hopefully I won’t be so dense as to forget all that I’ve learned the next time he comes home after a long day of staring at blank faces after teaching a lesson he spent hours preparing.

Leslie

Surprise! (edition no.2)

This may not be a surprise to everyone…but, well, we just figured snakes lived in planes.

GES 2013-2014 First Week_0065

We were obviously wrong. And Thailand, yet again, cleared up that misconception. Snakes live in trees. Big, giant, fat, scary, up-to-no-good snakes live in trees. The really creepy ones live in trees on a school campus…like this one.

Someone just so happened to be looking up while walking alongside the soccer field and spotted this cold blooded beauty. And, naturally, he called all surrounding men in the vicinity to have a look as well. After they threw basketballs to knock it down — really, people? — somebody finally thought to call animal control to come take care of the situation.

And animal control arrived with the kind of equipment we have come to appreciate from this country: step ladder, one work glove and an empty rice bag. Where the snake was taken? We’ve no idea. But I do know that I am even more cautious when walking beneath low branches.

Leslie