Thursday, March 06, 2008
My biggest problem with teaching English is compassion. I'm too compassionate. If I see a poor little face staring up at me that understands absolutely nothing I have said then I feel bad for the poor little one. So I start talking in Spanish....
Talking in Spanish is just not a good idea if you are trying to teach English to children who probably won't hear it anywhere but in your classroom!! Oh dear... what should I do about my compassion problem??
Let's introduce my little police lady! Her name is Ella and she is my neighbor and the 4 yr old daughter of the newest members of my missionary team. Her parents are both doctors who are going to be developing health programs with the Mennonite church here. Ella is in my 5 yr old kindergarten class at PROMESA and she is fluent in English (though not yet in Spanish). What does one do with such a little person in their English class?
Daaaaaaa Dummmmmmmmm...... Presenting the English Police!
Yes, Ella is my English police lady. Her job is to watch to see if Miss Carrie is speaking too much in Spanish during her English class. Ella is very strict with this and had to tell me yesterday three times that I was talking too much in Spanish. She is my accountability and for fear of Ella, I have started talking much more in English. Today, I did practically my whole English class in English with only a few Spanish words thrown in!! The good thing about kindergarten is that the lesson is usually pretty simple so it's not like I have to explain complicated things in English that they wouldn't understand.
So, thanks to my little police lady, compassion is taking a back seat and English is in the driver's seat. It's great that Ella has an important job to do that will keep her from being bored in my class. I hope she doesn't stop anytime soon because it really is helping. I wish she would come visit my four year old class!