Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Teaching opportunity

I had one of my favourite classes today, at the women's university. There are only seventeen students in this class, and with one absent today that meant I had the perfect number for groups of four, and because they work well together and are funny and good-natured I was in teacher heaven.

At one point I managed to entertain the entire class with a fart joke. This was unintentional. What happened was that I decided to clean the chalkboard erasers, which I'd made very dirty, and so I used the little eraser-cleaning machine. (Maria writes very entertainingly about the eraser-cleaning machines, and they are wonderful.) The eraser was rather old, so that the foam padding inside the cloth was worn down. This made the cloth a bit flappy, and when I ran the eraser over the machine it made a surprisingly realistic farting sound.

Two of the girls in the front row looked up from their books and stared at me, startled. Then they started giggling.

I glared and clutched my bottom (well, what SHOULD a mature teacher do in such circumstances?) and told the girls sternly that it was rude to laugh at their teacher. Then I went back to cleaning the eraser, and the machine did it again. It was satisfyingly louder this time, which caught the attention of the whole class. Being a mature and responsible teacher for whom every accident is a teaching opportunity, I taught them a new word. I also cleaned the eraser very thoroughly. It is not often that you get to teach a new word with sound effects.

It is the silly season, I'm afraid. The end of semester is in sight, the rainy season is here, and we're all feeling sticky and tired. Really the only thing you can do in the classroom is to have as much fun as possible.

And it was fun. My students thought it was the funniest and most interesting English word they'd learned, EVER.


Maria said...

sticky? end of semester?

you're telling me! (^_~)

man, i would have KILLED to hear the sound of that eraser.

Radioactive Jam said...

Two words: .wav file. Please?

Also I'm wondering how / when / if the 'D' word fell into disfavor. Although I expect that one's not so easily demonstrated in the classroom.

Pkchukiss said...

I still cringe whenever I see a chalkboard. Blame it on all the fingernail-screeching sounds that my primary school's green board likes to make whenever someone writes at a certain sensitive part of the board.

Badaunt said...

Maria: You don't need to kill. Just eat some beans. :-)

RaJ: The D word vanished because the textbook changed. They didn't give me a choice. I've been trying to figure out how to fit it in, but alas . . .

Pkchukiss: Also, little bits of grit in the chalk have that effect. Sometimes I have to pause to put my nerves back together after I encounter one of those.