I discussed the open class here a long time ago. This was when I was given one of my last choices of a class to have my open class with (second grade. And boys. Double whammy).
The open class was weeks and weeks ago, I just never posted this for some reason.
I was told to prepare a lesson plan for them. The lesson plan was completely opposite from anything I have ever used. It wasn’t the same format, it was half in Korean. I typed in as much as I could and my co-teacher filled the rest of it out for me. But that seemed like a bad start. We had to add quite a bit of things that I’ve never done in class (exit tests, “students say hello to teacher”) these things never happen. Students say hello naturally but we don’t do a big forced thing. As for exit tests and worksheets, if I did as many as we had to do for the open class, this school would be out of paper within a week. It was an absurd amount of paper and all of it was just for appearances.
I felt like I had a lot going against me with the open class.
1) I didn’t even know who was going to be there. I asked everyone: will it be other English teachers? Will it be the principal/vice prinicipal? Is it somehow related to my contract being re-signed? But I never got answers until the day of.
2) I had never taken notes on this class. I always write something down for every class “listened well” “very apathetic”… something usually always gets written down. For some reason, not this class. The few notes I had were for logistics, not behavior “finished chapter 3” So I didn’t even know what to expect with this class.
3) The lesson I was going to do was one that had been interrupted by speaking tests. This meant there was a solid 3 weeks between me teaching this lesson and the time I would teach it for the open class. 3 weeks! I didn’t even remember what the lesson focus was about.
4) This week I was NOT teaching boys class. They didn’t want to be there, the should have been doing something with the other teacher.
The worst reason ever was
5) The boys had never been in the English room before.
I was really nervous about this. We needed to have the class in that room to show off our bright and shiny English room but the boys had never been in there. They wouldn’t know where to sit, and if they sat “free” (wherever they wanted) they would talk and hang out with friends the whole time.
I was not excited for the lesson. The best I could do to prepare was just to think about it – it wasn’t like I could rehearse it.
The day finally arrived. To my surprise it was an open-class for the whole school. So every teacher was having an open class. This made me feel a lot better, the chances of parents even coming to my class were slim. I had heard of plenty of open classes where parents had never arrived.
So I held out hopes that we had just wasted a lot of paper but that we (my coteacher and I) wouldn’t be scrutinized.
8 parents arrived. Three sat sullenly in the corner, one actively participated in my lessons (like she was anticipating a free English class through her child?) and the other 4 just stared and looked largely indifferent.
The students’ behavior was pretty atrocious. Lots of talking, some bad language (“da fuck!” was shouted once) and even a very inappropriate gesture essentially mimicking when a man loves a woman. Awful.My co-teacher at one point let loose about how disappointing they were to their parents. Or I hope that’s what she said.
The good parts were that we got a couple laughs out of the parents and it was over before we knew it.
Fortunately nothing will or has come out of that open class. It has been weeks since it happened and no one got calls or complaints. It just was. If it served any purpose it’s that I now know more about that class’s behavior (very bad). And now I will be a lot less nervous for my next open class – whenever that may be.