No, it wasn't a blank look, they were just thinking...
I was really pleased with the lesson plan I did for todays assessed lesson. I'd thought it through really carefully and prepared interesting tasks with good stimulus material. It was all thought through and pitched at the group I knew I was having.
So, I stood up and my first activity was a reproduction of something we were shown yesterday. I explained it carefully and clearly. Eight faces looked back at me without a flicker of understanding between them. The tutor later said that sometimes they need time to think about things and it doesn't sink in straight away, and that he's been convinced before that students haven't understood but they've got on with the task. Whatever. Maybe I'm getting too involved in trying to read their body language to see when they need or want help, etc, but I'm pretty sure I was getting blank looks from them all. Unphased (okay, going 'shit, shit, shit, shit, shit' inside) I explained it again and then whizzed around to check they got it. Of course it meant the whole thing took loads longer than anticipated and my last activity had to be dropped. Thankfully though, activities two and three did go well, were grasped immediately and challenged them to the right degree, in my opinion. I think they enjoyed them too. This doesn't take away from the fact that the whole thing didn't go as well as I'd hoped it would though and I didn't feel completely happy about it afterwards. I did get a good write up from the tutor and class though so maybe it wasn't as bad as I felt it was.
Maybe I'm just being overly self critical. Guess that'll keep complacency at bay.
I know every lesson I do will be a learning experience for me, as much as for them, but as long as enough lessons go well in Japan, I'm sure I can put up with some not so good ones. And I'll make sure I have something to fall back on in classes in case something doesn't go so well when I'm out there.
I'm also getting increasingly impressed with the sound of the back up service we'll be getting when we're out there. From what I've heard from other people, hopefully we won't be let down. And we'll all have each other from the course to get help from. They're a lovely bunch and we swapped email addresses today. Then there's the 22 of us flying out together and the other teachers we'll get linked up with...
I would like to meet some non-teachers though as well.
On Monday I go back to work and I'm increasingly dreading it. The monotony of the job. The not being stretched or stimulated, or being surrounded by interested people. The being stuck behind a desk. The mountain of work I have to get through before leaving. The catching up on what I've missed this week. I see lots of late nights ahead, as I'm seriously concerned the bastards will live up to their threat of withdrawing my leave if the work isn't done. I wouldn't put it past them either.