Friday, October 24, 2014

On a high note

The last day of my English course ended on a high note. I should have thanked my student Annalisa at the time, but I don't want to draw to much attention to the fact that it almost ended in disaster. We had already done the final assessment test. Over the weekend when I was in London, I had given them homework that showed how to think through every test question, and on my return I went over it with them in minute detail. During the pausa I went upstairs to make some fotocopies and took out my red pen to grade the tests. If I had not been standing in front of their cleared desks insisting on a quiet room, I would have thought they had some crazy cheating ponzi scheme because every single person get question ten wrong and almost everything else right. Darn it, I knew I should have spent more time on how to use like with infinitive verbs! Six people got everything else right and the lowest grade was a beautiful 17 out of 20. At least three of the questions had material that was beyond the reach of an A1 beginner course so 17 for our purposes was a perfect score. My Romanian student skipped the last page of the test by accident, but after she sat back down and filled in those answers she got the same high scores as everyone else.

After the test, we talked briefly about the difference between American and European style resumes and I encouraged them to ask me questions about New York and anything else as long as they asked in English. It is a four hour block of English and it was hour 79 of an 80 hour course so everyone, myself included, was kind of ready to go home. I was seriously considering  letting us all go home about half an hour early, but Annalisa wanted to go up to the office to ask about the chances of our getting to do another more advanced course together. They want to do an evening course because of course we are all hopeful that they all find jobs in the meantime. While she was up there she found out that someone from the employment agency who had paid for their course was going to come down to listen in on the end of our class. WHAT?? I pulled out a conversation game and got everyone back in their seats just in time for my colleague to bring in the employment agency representative who would be giving me my final report card, so to speak. She seemed very impressed with their improvement. The gang really tried to make me look good, which was very sweet.

 I ended up inviting my whole class to Thanksgiving dinner so that should be pretty blog-worthy.  There was a flurry of sweet FB exchanges the day after and we all swore to stay in touch. I got really lucky for my first time out and I will never forget my first real English class.

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