Tuesday, March 06, 2007
Worst class ever
I had a class this afternoon that I wasn't quite prepared for. I have a good reason, though. The school gave me a textbook and a teaching plan for this particular class. That's a good arrangement because then I don't have to worry about making up my own teaching plan. I wasn't given the book until late last night, so when I compared the book and the plan I noticed that they didn't match up. I had either been given the wrong book or the wrong teaching plan. No problem, I can just look in my book and prepare the first chapter, or I can show up to class, borrow someone's book, and teach on the fly. When I got up this morning I tried calling the department office to figure out if I had the wrong book or what, but Eric wasn't available to talk to all morning. During lunch I got to talk to him and he told me that he wasn't sure what the problem was and he'd have to ask another teacher and get back to me. Well, I still figured that I could plan on using either my book or borrowing the right book from a student. However, when I got to class I found that the students don't have any book at all for this class. That wasn't one of my backup plans. So here I was with 90 minutes of class to fill, with no text or anything to fall back on. I can usually fill up the first day of class easily with English names and questions about myself and America. Students have a never ending supply of those. But at least three quarters of the class were students I had last semester or students in my class yesterday. I couldn't very well make them sit through my stories a second time about how and why I came to China, what is my hometown like, how big is my family, do I know Yao Ming, etc. I'm still not sure how I made it all the way through class, but I sure felt like the most unprepared teacher in the world. Suffice it to say that I will always have an emergency backup plan for use in case of missing textbooks. Of course, next week the students will probably all show up with books and tell me that there was an error and they were supposed to bring them the first time. Argh.