Monday, June 17, 2013

Advanced English Classes Rant

I am going to have an advanced English classes this coming Monday. And I am having mixed feelings about it.

It will be a 2-week class and the students will be attending classes in their major subjects, English, Math and Science. What I like about this is that my students will be the best students of the incoming sophomores. And I am toying with the idea of making this an almost college course. No predictable motivation, presentation, discussion and all those things that bores students in a normal situation. And I am planning to apply everything that I have learned in college about task-based teaching. Therefore, it would be the students who would be doing more work than I am, which, you see, the very reason why these techniques were formulated in the first place. That every lesson must be student-centered and students must be the ones responsible for their own creation of meaning.

But still, I couldn't get rid of preparing an outline of the topics that we will tackle for these two weeks, and I plan on making it oral-intensive. And this is because I noticed that most of our students, if not all, know English grammar perfectly based on standards-based assessments. They know the grammar forms, but they, even the best students, have difficulty in speaking in the language. So this is what I want to hone for two weeks. Apparently, a cohort told me that my lessons for these classes must be introductions of what they are going to discuss come regular school year. And that is just like cold water thrown on me, because I know that our lessons will be research paper and grammar intensive. Yes, we do have a speech program, but sometimes, it is relegated to the sideline because we need to cover topics that will be included in the summative tests. And this defeats the purpose of learning in the first place. But still, still, I am going to push through with my plan, anyway, this is advanced classes. What they must know are things which are not going to be discussed in a regular classroom.

One thing that made me pissed off with this affair, though, is the compensation. We are already spending our "vacation" by making and editing lesson plans and this added burden of teaching in summer is just a bummer. We teachers of the advanced classes will only be given $16.00, tops. Two weeks, people. Fucking two weeks. That wouldn't make so much difference in the long run, wouldn't it?

Well, that's life. Get bored with it.


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