Friday, March 26, 2010

PS I hate you

Just a tiny little miniscule rant about my worst class. I've read some nightmare stories from other assistants and I must admit, none of my students sound that bad by comparison, but I do really dread this one class. Usually I have only half of the class (with the teacher there as well) one week, and then the other half the other week. This week because of exams or something, I had the enormous treat of having the whole class. The teacher had asked me to do a spelling quiz of some sort, so I came up with a list of 20 commonly-misspelled words and made a quiz where they had to bet on which they thought was the right answer amongst three possibilities - if they were sure, they could bet high, and if they didn't know, they should bet low. Okay, it's not exactly a thrill-a-minute ride, but I thought it would be more fun than a silent spelling test (PS I didn't come up with the idea by myself, so no credit where credit's not due, but did write the test myself and it took forevs.)

Anyway, turns out the quiz was way too easy for them, and almost all of them were getting it right every time. Which was a bummer. The teacher very nicely said to me that these weren't really the sorts of mistakes they made, but that I wasn't to know (I really never see their writing, for starters). I probably find it harder to work with a teacher than by myself - yeah, they're there for support, but they're also there to witness it if you fail.

So anyway, they were probably bored by the quiz, but that didn't mean they had to constantly talk so I had to yell over the top of them the whole class. Even that wouldn't have been too bad, but about halfway through (i.e. far enough in that it couldn't have been a misunderstanding of how the game worked) some students started to just call out the answers, thus ruining the whole concept of 'gambling' on the chosen answer. It made me so mad, I really just wanted to go spare at them, but what can you do? And they are always like this, both halves of the class - constantly talking in French, completely unwilling to speak in English, rolling their eyes and muttering comments I can't catch when I ask them stuff.

Anyway, written down that probably looks pretty minor, but just wanted to get my frustration off my chest. Luckily next week they're doing the bac blanc (mock exam) and then it's the holidays, so almost a month till I have to see them again!

Oh and PS I totally laughed in a student's face this evening! I had a private lesson with 4 students, it's all grammar focused so usually pretty dull. Generally they read a sentence with a blank in it and then say what they think the answer is, but this time there was a whole paragraph before the blank, so he just kept reading and reading in this French-accented monotone, and then I saw the only girl in the class was exchanging glances and giggling with one of the other guys and I just couldn't help absolutely cracking up laughing, and you know, the more I tried not to the worse it was until I actually had tears in my eyes. Soooo unprofessional! It wasn't even that funny, but you know how it is when you see someone else laughing and you can't suppress it. I apologised, and explained I wasn't laughing at him per se, hope I didn't hurt the poor guy's feelings!


  1. Rotten little pigs. And why doesn't the teacher step in when they're so bad mannered, anyway!

    Loved the giggling story. M x

  2. She shouts at them occasionally but it just seems to make no difference. Of course I was like "do NOT shout out the answers" but I really wanted to throw something at them, it was so disrespectful arrrrgh

  3. Who'd be a teacher, eh?


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