Thursday, July 17, 2008

Class Act

I want my readers to know that those rumors that they have been hearing are... COMPLETELY TRUE. I am back in school! I have 'gone back' to school.

I am in the Midwest Teacher Training Program (MTTP) at the Wisconsin English as a Second Language Institute (WESLI). It's right across the street from the capital, in a beautiful old building. It's one of those three storied, skinny hallwayed, exposed brick buildings where you have to take three different stairwells and five corners just to get to your classroom. It's somewhat maze-like. The 12 students share an office in the basement (we each get our own desk space), near the lounge and computer lab.

I have 4 major classes.
  • Skills 1 - How to teach oral communication and listening skills
  • Skills 2 - How to teach reading and writing skills
  • Lesson Planning - How to write effective lesson plans
  • Grammar- yeah. Past perfect progressive, gerunds, auxiliaries and the like
I also get the experience of actually TEACHING ten 50 minute classes spread throughout the 5 weeks. Because MTTP is part of WESLI, we have foreigners who travel here to learn English, and we get to use them as guinea pigs! All of the MTTP students are paired up and assigned a class that meets for 2 hours, twice a week. We each teach for 50 minutes and observe while our partner is teaching. For each time teaching we have to make up a complete lesson plan, teach, observe, write up an observation on your partner, and work with your partner on a reflection of the implementation of the lesson plan. It's a SHIT TON of work. For real. But I think I can do it.

In addition to all of that, we have two or three 50 minute observations a week for various classes above, which we then write journal reflections on. Generally there is homework for all of the main classes for every meeting too. Each class meets twice a week, for two hours at a time.

Pfew. I just got a handle on that all yesterday. It's a little overwhelming, but I am really enjoying the challenge. There are only 12 or 13 students at MTTP, so we all have the same classes and I have really enjoyed getting to know them. We are a pretty diverse group in terms of backgrounds and goals. I think I have already made some friends.

Hi MTTP-ers! One fun chick asked if I had a blog today and I told her she could find it via Facebook... I will call her Frenchglasses. FG for short. She studied french for some time and has cool glasses. So FG, Maniguy (Manitowoc Guy), Guy (his real name!), and LAO (I am not explaining this, just accept it!) skipped next door after class today to The Old Fashioned. Four in the afternoon, and we were going drinking. We didn't have much choice, because The Old Fashioned was celebrating selling its 100,000th Old Fashioned! So on special?! $1.50 Old Fashioneds!!! That is not something you pass on. We had a good time tonight. I hope we become better friends. YAY friends! Oh, I have pictures!

Here is Maniguy and FG, working on homework at the bar!

A picture of my homework for Lesson Planning that's due tomorrow. I had to get it done sometime, I might as well drink a brandy old fashioned sweet while I work!

Maniguy, FG and I after a couple! We look happy, right? I hope we can keep it up!


Ginger said...

Congrats Jen, I'm glad you're doing well, and can still find time in your hectic schedule to drown your happiness in bourbon.

artichokeshavehearts said...

...or in $1.50 whiskey old fashioneds :) btw, i decided to stay home this weekend, so no madison for me.

artichokeshavehearts said...

Ugh, I'm an idiot. Remind me not to comment prior to 9 am in the future. Your text yesterday definitely made me smile, though.

hautepocket said...

I had no idea this process was so involved and so I obviously should have known that. Anyway, congrats, I'm "significantly" excited for you! :)

Urn said...

Way to go! And absolutely, yes, you CAN do it!