вівторок, грудня 12, 2006

these boots are made for walkin'

I have found the answer to shoe shopping: prayer. You pray that God will help you find the right shoes in the right price range without too much stress, and, unless God has decided that patience is the virtue you should work on that day, shoe shopping becomes much easier.

Which is to say, I now have new boots. They are black with a little gold decoration on the side, come up to mid-calf, are fuzzy-lined, and don't so much have a heel as just have a thicker sole in the back. Price: $54 USD, which is less than half of what I paid last year when I bought boots in the US (which lasted one year over here). I went to one of the big markets in Kharkiv, found the shoe section, found a friendly saleslady who took the time to help me and show me several options, and had my boots within half an hour of arriving at the market, giving me time to go to a coffee shop with Teresa, Shelia (who ET'd this week...sad to see her go), and Shelia's former LCF (language teacher).

They're pretty comfortable boots as well...I've worn them all day for the last three days, and tonight is the first time they've really bothered me (which has a lot to do with the walk from school to the post office after a day of teaching, all in new shoes).

(Liz: the boots from Nadia need some fixing up...also, they're good for outdoors stuff and walking, but not "dressy" enough for school.)

The olympiad on Sunday was cool in that I got to see how well some kids in my town speak English and depressing in that...um, well...they definitely weren't MY kids. We got creamed. Ouch. Oh, well...if they'd put any real effort into preparing, I'd feel worse.

Am frustrated because I am here to be teaching students the Communicative Method of English, which emphasizes vocabulary, speaking, and being understood rather than emphasizing grammar, only to have teachers at my school complain that the kids aren't learning grammar. Which I have, in fact, taught a great deal of...I've found that I prefer to teach more grammar/translation than PC suggests, because I do think that grammar's important. But not as important as Ukrainian teachers think it is. I am reminded of something I read at PST University to the effect that while teachers here say that they want new techniques and ideas, they really just want us to teach Ukrainian-style. Which is not entirely fair, but there's some truth to it.

It's something I've been thinking about a lot lately...how much is the teacher responsible for what her students learn and how much is the student's responsibility? I believe that I should do everything I can to ensure that my students learn, but when their test scores are repeatedly bad, how much should I be beating myself up over this? Teachers who read this, please comment!


At 4:52 дп, грудня 13, 2006, Blogger Jason said...

"How much is the teacher responsible for what her students learn, and how much is the student's responsibility?"

Robert Kimball, the College of Education dean from Madonna University, spoke to your question one day in my class. He said, in effect, "Every teacher is somewhere on a continuum between 'It's my fault' and 'It's my students' fault'. Beginning teachers tend to put all the blame on their own shoulders. As teachers age, they move rightwards."

Keep that in mind, and with prayers for your perseverance through it all,

Much love,
~Jason :)

At 9:17 дп, грудня 14, 2006, Anonymous Анонім said...

So whose fault? I see teaching and learning as somewhat of a 50/50. You present to the students what they need to learn, but they also have to reach out and take what is offered in order to learn. Both teachers and learners have jobs. If one of the jobs isn't being done, learning most likely won't take place.

So, here's my question to you. Are you varying your teaching methods to try to meet each student as much as possible? Knowing you I would be shocked if the answer were anything but yes. Now then, the students need to do their job. Keep in mind (although I am only single lingual (ha ha) I have heard many say English is the most difficult language to learn.)

Your students will not only learn English from you, but many of them will learn of God. Just by your daily example.

Keep up the good work.

Love, Cousin Pam

At 3:30 пп, грудня 15, 2006, Anonymous dad said...

it has been my obseervation that when you lead a horse to water it's the end with the brains that takes a drink


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