Thursday, September 22, 2011
Random thoughts and observations
I have much upon which to elaborate but little time so I will give a brief window into the thoughts swimming around in my brain...
- Time out chairs don't work for 2nd graders in Turkey. Everyone wants to move to the time out place.
- Trying to keep students from running through the halls is kind of silly when even the teachers race the students in the hallway.
- Today's 2nd grade vocabulary included "pinch", "punch", and "strangle" complete with examples. Then I taught the negative as in "Do not____".
- I've been told that pulling the child's ear often works to get him or her to behave. Not sure I can do that...
- Not speaking Turkish helps a lot when it comes to tattling. A child will come up and rattle off a minute's worth of injustices in Turkish. I just smile kindly and see if I can pick out a word or two...(usually I can't)...Then I just shrug my shoulders and away they scoot. In addition to not understanding WHAT they are saying, I also don't know WHO they talking about. It's easy to not get involved.
- These kids are very physical, touching, pinching, etc, but they are also very tough. I haven't seen any crying or whining.
- At school picnics in America, 5th graders like to set their blankets in little groups spread all around the park. At school picnics in Turkey, the students place all their picnic blankets touching so not a blade of grass is showing. Then newspaper is placed in the center of the blankets to act as a long table cloth.
- Playing basketball with 5th grade boys at recess is a great way to teach English vocabulary and win some desperately needed classroom cooperation. Today we learned "pass", "dribble", "double dribble", "basket"(which I proudly got) and "rebound" which I could actually do because I'm about 6 feet taller than them.
- Saying "anlarmadin" (I don't understand)is not enough to stop my neighbor from carrying on a conversation. He just repeated the same words over and over again like an endless computer programming loop. Smiling is not working anymore either. I need some more vocabulary so I can politely excuse myself from a hopelessly complicated conversation.
- I finally returned three empty plates from my really nice neighbor downstairs and gave her some chocolates in return. Then she went to her kitchen and returned with a plated filled with more cakes and cookies. I think it's a game to keep me stocked with treats. I like this game..
- Eric and I had our first dinner party last night. Two dictionaries, Google translate and a sprinkling of English and we had a great night. I offered Turkish Coffee and then asked our guests to show me how to make it. :)
- I invited the English teachers to my apartment for tea this afternoon. Eric was a delightful host and even spot cleaned the house when I texted him from the bus on the way home to warn him of our arrival.
Finally, I wanted to include scenes from today's recess time. The photo is of the basketball boys who, after the game, bought me a water and introduced me to the school birds.