Random thoughts, comments, observations and general fluff from a random bint who left London at the end of September 2004 to embark on a new life and new adventures in Tokyo, land of the cute.... and is leaving mid-June 2010 - and counting!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

student say - teacher tell

Have you seen this story from England about Mckenzie Dunkley? (yes, I sometimes look at the British tabloids online, as well as the broadsheets, BBC, etc - but that's besides the point) - Mckenzie is a cute, four-year old nutcase and the youngest kid ever to be expelled from school.

To be honest, the actions of this kid didn't so much shock me as the mother agreeing to have him named and shown in the press.

But, as I was doing language for advice with a group of intermediate students I thought I'd get their take on it.

Bear in mind the attitude here is a two-plane one of a) kids don't know any better and b) teachers are scared of parents. I've mentioned before kids I've seen here in kindergartens kicking teachers who just smile at them, etc.
So, I told them the story of little Mckenzie and they decided he should not have been expelled, he should have been talked to and that hitting / kicking a teacher was okay, but hitting / kicking other kids wasn't.

They were all in agreement that hitting parents wasn't okay though.
Student Y is in a group of low-level learners. I think she's a complete nutcase but she's extremely amusing - in a bit of a Susan Boyle kind of way. I love the group she's in. I've only been teaching them a couple of months but they adapted very quickly to my way of teaching and they amuse me no end.

Student Y - sorry, just to clarify here - she's in her 40s, the other women in their 50s - likes to sing - English kids songs - and has no problem spontaneously bursting into song. You can't really help but like her. Like I said, reminds me of Susan Boyle.

Today we were talking about the body and pregnancy (yes, of COURSE she started singing 'heads, shoulders, knees and toes') and we talked about knowing and guessing the sex of your kid. Y has a son. She wanted a daughter ('because girls are pretty') but didn't get one. So when her son was three she always dressed him as a girl. She has photos. She's saving them to show at his wedding...

So. We're doing parts of the body. They've brainstormed a load and start asking me about the names of other parts. We discussed man-boobs. This is a foundation level class. On the way out I told them to look up more parts and pointed to some random ones including my wrist. Y (of course, Y) said 'breast'. I clarified the difference between 'wrist' and 'breast'.
And finally, one day I'll learn if you don't want people to know what you're planning, spending months hinting at it, isn't really the way to go as people do start putting 2 and 2 together! Still, this doesn't put me into a bad place so no harm done. (bla bla bla, leaving Japan next spring).

P.S. Diploma - second draft of one paper finished. I hope. Two more first drafts to get finished ASAP.


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