Tuesday, November 11, 2014


In high school, my favourite subjects were Music, Art, and Computer Programming (in Basic, for all you old-timers like me). Although I was curious and tried to enjoy courses like Chemistry, my math skills were sub-par at best and complex formulas were not my thing.

In a revengeful way, my lack of interest in math and science have come back to bite me in the butt. I remember the day my boss sent my teaching schedule for the high school I'm an auxiliar at. As an English conversation assistant, do I have any English classes this year? Hell no. Instead, I assist in Math, Physics, Geology, History, and Biology. WTF. The exact courses I almost failed in Canada.

How does one teach Math in English, you ask? Like this: the teacher tells me the topic of what will be covered - "mixed fractions", for example. He supplies a text that the students read, line by line. However, being teenagers, they don't merely read. They chatter, throw pieces of paper at each other, start fighting over pencils...the usual. So suddenly my class becomes "Math and 'Quit Bothering Pablo Over the Pen and Read the Next Line YES I'M TALKING TO YOU.' "

I do have some lovely groups, though. There are definitely classes where the students are practically begging to read out loud in English, which is amazing because I certainly preferred daydreaming about cute boys when I was their age. (P.S. Nothing´s changed.)

My first few weeks at work, I almost lost my voice trying to shout over the din. Now I understand that teaching kids involves an inner strength and discipline, which you convey to the kids so that they stop talking and try to listen. The children I teach, they are mostly good and are very smart. I can see that this job will be a very interesting one, and I will learn a lot to supplement my career.

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