Thursday, November 1, 2012

TaLK Day

Note: I've decided to explain TaLK Day by recycling. Below are bits of all the conversations and posts I've made since I found out I'd have to help host this year. Hope it's not too confusing.
Noooooo~! I have to do TaLK Day! Both my mentor teacher and I are crying. *big sigh* ... 화이팅! T_T
My class is going to have a Skype session Oct. 30 at 2PM. Is anyone available at this time? I need someone who will absolutely do it (not forget), because this is for TaLK Day. Officials will be present during the class. o_O

If it's someone from Texas, it'll be around midnight between Monday and Tuesday your time. If you can do it, I'll give you more info.
My school is hosting an open class where teachers from other cities will be invited to view a 40 minute ESL class. My topic will be self-introduction (meeting someone new). The class will be a mix of 3rd and 4th graders. Their English skills ranging widely. Some students are also shy about speaking.
The Skype session will 15 minutes long. During that time, students and the guest (you) will take turns asking and answering questions. The teacher will guide the conversation.
I'll make a short list of questions to pass to the students. I'll also send this list to the guest. Questions may include, "What is your name," or "How many sisters do you have?" You can ask the same questions multiple times. Assuming all things go well (internet connection, video streaming smoothness, sound, etc.), the whole thing should be really easy and fun for both the students and the guest. I just want to give the students a chance to talk to another native-English speaker. They can practice describing themselves to you. Hopefully each student will be able to ask (or answer) at least one question. ...Oh, I'm not sure yet, but I might have around 12 students.
The Skype session is scheduled for 2:18 PM (Korean time) in the lesson plan, but I'll want to connect with the guest early to save time. Also, I'll need to do a test run sometime before October 30 to make sure things will run smoothly.

If you're still willing and able to do this with my class, I'd really appreciate it! Thanks!
Here is the info. Please let me know if you're still able to do it after reading. If more than one person is able, I'll pick the person at random.  
I flipped a coin and you won. I'm going to ask the other person if they'll be on standby.

Shall we schedule a day where we can do a test run? I think Tuesdays/Thursdays are best if we do the test run at the same time that the class will be held. However, I'd like to hear what works best for you.

Thanks for volunteering!
What times are you available???
The classroom I use is shared with my mentor teacher, so I can't come in and do test runs whenever I please. I WILL, however, see if I can hook my laptop up to some internet cord in another room if possible. (That way I won't need to worry about interrupting her).
The following are some questions I'll give them. They may come up with their own questions during class (so you've been warned). To answer them, you can repeat the question. Ex. What's your favorite food? "My favorite food is ___." Or you can just answer : Meatloaf. Then I'll have to explain what meatloaf
[insert loud scream]
Why am I freaking out? TaLK Day is tomorrow!!!!!!!! Only 30 mins tomorrow to practice/talk to/ retunite with kids I haven't taught since last semester. Let us work together and be comrades, kids! Even if just for one day... please? T_T *deeeep breath*
[minutes before the mock class]
S: see you soon! >~<
T: Correct
S: my students are eager to see you ^^
T: Oh god, lol
T: Who calls whom?

[a few hours after the mock class]
S: Thomas, first of all let me say thank you very very very much for participating with my class. Sorry but something went wrong with the camera and it wouldnt connect, so i just disconnected. i wasn't able to stop the class and tell you about it so that's why i said the quick goodbye. my class was really happy to meet you! i'll talk to you again later. sorry again for the weird ending!

[the next day]
T: It was no problem for me. I had fun, and the kids were kinda adorable.
S: kinda adorable... lolol
T: Like that one girl who looked at me as ran back to her seat
S: lol oh yes. the one girl who asked you if you liked ice cream. she was too shy to get out of her seat, but when you asked her to repeat the question, she shouted it from her seat. so everyone started laughing and you still couldn't hear her. but it was funniest cuz she shouted "DO. YOU. LI.KU. I.SU.CU.REEM."
T: Well there was times when the sound just went quiet
S: oh really?? hmm. I'm still wondering what happened w/ the camera. cuz my MT was holding it, but she kept waving it around when students were walking up. maybe there was a sound and motion overload
T: Which is why I kept asking you to repeat
S: yeah, well that was fine. everything worked out pretty well considering. it could've been worse, for example.
T: it could have. i thought it went fantastically
S: yaaay~ XD thanks again, seriously.
T: it was no problem. I just felt bad for the lost of connection at the end. plus the parents got a kick out of my doing ganganm style when they brought it up  
Below is part of an email to my mom about TaLK Day:

Yesterday (around midnight Monday, your time) was TaLK Day. As I told you before, I had to teach in front of supervisors from the Education office, as well as other TaLK scholars, their mentor and co-teachers. They said I did well.

I did a Skype chat with my friend Thomas from UTSA (whom you've met before during one of the many dinner gatherings at our house haha). We were able to get through many questions, before some technical difficulty with the camera happened, and we had to quit the conversation short. There was about 15 mins of class left so I had to fill time with a role-play game. I'd only thought of it the night before, but hadn't planned a game in any detail so much of it was very last-minute.

I recieved a lot of praise, as well as constructive criticism. I'm really glad it's over and that I was able to do it. I'm glad my students were able to participate (many of them were really shy once they tried to speak to Thomas).

What did I do to avoid nervousness? The night before, I listened to a song from Kiki's Delivery Service to calm my nerves. hahaha Then, the day of, I decided to ignore all the visitors during the mock class. I tuned them out and just focused on the students. So, after the students were dismissed, all the nervousness and adrenaline just rushed out and I was nervous and shaking a little and looked tired (people were telling me i looked nervous and tired).

Well, this has been a super long post! 'Til next time,

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