Monday, July 2, 2012

Can You Hear Me Now?

Gary Larson, writer of The Far Side, had a couple of cartoons that go through my head each day when I enter my classrooms.

This is my first 3 rows
This is the rest of the class
I teach 14 classes English conversation.  Before a month ago, I had never taught a class.  Some days I go in fully prepared only to discover that I have to spend most of my time getting the class quiet.  Other times, I fly through the material and have spare time.  I am supposed to play games with them, but I have never been a game player so I have to change that in myself.

One day I borrowed a guitar from one of the students and sang, "Let It Be Me" to them with the hope they would join in as I gave them the words.  They mostly just listened.  My music teaching needs work, too.  I found some videos of various American TV shows I would like them to watch and I have no audio/visual equipment, though I have seen a few computer projectors around the school.  Some days I feel more like the character from "The Great Escape" who was the scrounger, played by James Garner.  He was told to get whatever the future escapees needed and he was very good at it.  Simple things like notepads, textbooks, pens or a projector are all more a myth of my western upbringing than a reality here.  Yet, I see teachers are able to do their work.  Perhaps I have just become too addicted to technology.

I have a number of videos I would like them to watch to practice their English.  As I can't show them in class, I did the next best thing; I created a web site.  There are a number of free teacher web site programs out there and I came across  In a matter of minutes this technomoron was able to build something every class could access.  The trick will be to see if they actually visit it.  With 700 kids, I didn't want them all to register, though I may regret that decision.  Assigning it as homework may work.  We will see.


  1. good luck, techno geek. I am glad to hear you are doing ok... :-)

  2. "...I came across In a matter of minutes this technomoron was able to build something..."

    Roy, you can add code to some pages to get tracking data from Google Analytics. If you're interested in checking usage this could be handy. I think that you get fairly general information - number of visitors, number of unique visitors, country of origin.

    I just got done reading your latest post and found my way here making sure I hadn't missed any. I truly admire your resourcefulness, pluck and courage! Thanks for sharing your adventures and I look forward to your next post.

  3. Thanks, Geoff. I am enjoying the challenge. I don't think I have gotten too many visitors yet so I will continue to "market" it in class.

    I vaguely know about the code you are referring to, but don't know what to write or where to place it in my HTML. Can you give me any suggestions?