hema’s sphere

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Protected: boundaries

Posted by hema on August 29, 2008

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favourite teacher

Posted by hema on December 24, 2007

i remember mine, he was so cool, had the best sense of humour and always took the time out to explain things without making me feel totally dumb even though science was so not my strongest subject.

who was your favourite teacher and why? i want to pick up tips:)

Posted in teaching | 12 Comments »

don’t kids say the cutest things(!)

Posted by hema on December 21, 2007

student: you know if you wore a belt with that gown thing, it would look much more fashionable

student:  you should wear make up, you would look pretty… do you own any make up hema?

remind me why i have spent all term begging and pleading to give up my access(adult) classes to teach more teenagers again(!)

it’d been a lon—ggg term. i’m gonna sleep for a few days, and then go and clean up my desk at work. it’s so messy! and right now is full of the the leftover food from the end of term party. i hope i don’t get rats:(

one of my students said “slaamkum” ..oh no wait “eid mu..something”. thought it was cute.

Posted in teaching | 5 Comments »

giving in

Posted by hema on October 26, 2007

so…the lack of posting recently is due to the fact that i’m trying to figure out how to work facebook and myspace. but before you start with the “i told you so..” it’s because i have to!

instead of continually telling students off for sneaking onto said websites during lessons, we’ve decided to try and incorporate them into their learning experinces..somehow. i have been trying to convince the college to let me use wordpress, because i’m used to it, but to no avail, i have to go with the websites the students want to use. so i’ve asked for a month to get used to how they work. sigh. (only i would complain about being paid to use facebook!) i do like the poking feature though, it’s funny. anyway, i created a separate one for any bloggers that are using it, you can access it here. i have one under my “actual” name as well, and the one for the students is under the college name.

anyways, wish me luck- it’s either going to work or drastically backfire on me!

Posted in teaching | 12 Comments »

losing yourself in the classroom

Posted by hema on October 20, 2007

random friend: i can’t imagine you teaching you know…i mean in a classroom. it’s weird to think, you’re so quiet and timid

random student:  you must be like a human being at home (i hope so..) i mean, you can’t always be doing this..and walking up and down and looking all stern but it’s weird to think of you not doing teaching stuff.you might even drink!(!)

maybe i have multiple identities or something!

during teacher training, you’re always taught to leave any issues you have outside of the classroom, because it’s not the students’ fault if you have problems,  so they shouldn’t have to deal with it or know about it. you’re also encouraged to develop a teaching persona, almost- like an exaggerated version of everything that happens. for example, you might not think that it’s the end of the world if a student’s tie isn’t exactly the right length, or if they’re five minutes late, but you have to act like it is to set the right standard. act confident and in control even if you don’t feel it. body language is 60% of the way we communicate. encourage positive behaviour by modelling it. don’t lose your cool. don’t show panic. don’t show anger. don’t show your nerves. don’t show your problems.

don’t show you’re human?

i know this might cause problems for some people, this idea of separating your identity as a teacher to that of who you might be outside of the classroom. but for me it never has. for me the classroom is almost my chance to be someone else. some people liken teaching to acting, because it’s almost like giving a performance. putting on a show, keeping the audiences’ attention. it’s not just what you teach, it’s how you teach. just because you have said it, it doesn’t mean they have understood it. act the part and you will become the part.

in the classroom, for that length of time, to those students, for those students, i can forget about my own problems and issues and how i feel, and do something positive. i can lose myself in a lesson and forget about anything else.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in teaching | 7 Comments »

marking when fasting

Posted by hema on September 22, 2007

“this isn’t right. in fact, it’s just a mess. redo it”

i looked back at this comment on a full stomach and realised that might not count as positive marking.

note to self: change marking time to after traweeh prayers..

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how not to teach

Posted by hema on September 7, 2007

i have so many of these tales, it would be impossible to fit them in one post. i think for now i’ll just focus on the blunders i’ve made this week, so as not to depress myself too much

1- student waves and asks a question in the corridor

me: remind me which one of my classes you take?

student: the one we just had. you were talking to me for about half an hour!


me: you’ve not done your homework? who’s your personal teacher?

student: you

(i have around 300 new students and they all look the same! and it’s really hard to recognise new students out of context)

2- i wear a radio aid which is connected to the hearing aid of one of the students. it basically drowns out all the background noise and the voice of whoever is wearing it is all he can hear. you’re only supposed to switch it on only when you are speaking to the whole class or him directly. but i keep forgetting to switch it off. i went into the staffroom to get some marker pens, and got a bit distracted. i ended up joining in a very private conversation. he had this little smile when i went i went back into class.

me: by any chance……

he then repeated the whole conversation back to me:(

3- me: on one side of your index card can you write down what you expect from the course, and on the other write me a joke. i feel like hearing some jokes.

student: is the second part compulsory?

me:yes, everyone has to think of one joke by the end of the lesson

(i can just imagine what the inspectors would have to say about that)

i forgot to say clean jokes though. i only got one decent one out of them:( actually the student in example 2.

i figure you have to laugh at your own mistakes sometimes. it’s what makes us human, right?

Posted in teaching | 14 Comments »

the pebble story

Posted by hema on September 4, 2007

i tried this my tutor group today to generate discussion and promote problem solving skills. i first came accross this during a seminar on creative thinking. the group that came up with the best solution got chocolate. i can’t offer you that but have a go anyway. i’ll put the conclusion up in a couple of days..

 “Many years ago when a person who owed money could be thrown into jail, a merchant in London had the misfortune to owe a huge sum to a money lender. The money lender, who was old and ugly, fancied the merchant’s beautiful teenage daughter. He proposed a bargain. He said he would cancel the merchant’s debt if he could have the girl instead.

Both the merchant and his daughter were horrified at the proposal. So the cunning money lender proposed that they let Providence decide the matter. He told them that he would put a black pebble and a white pebble into an empty moneybag and then the girl would have to pick out one of the pebbles. If she chose the black pebble she would become his wife and her father’s debt would be cancelled. If she chose the white pebble she would stay with her father and the debt would still be cancelled. But if she refused to pick out a pebble her father would be thrown into jail and she would starve.

Reluctantly the merchant agreed. They were standing on a pebble strewn path in the merchant’s garden as they talked and the moneylender stooped down to pick up the two pebbles. As he picked up the pebbles the girl, sharp eyed with fright, noticed that he picked up two black pebbles and put them into the moneybag. He then asked the girl to pick out the pebble that was to decide her fate and that of her father”

Imagine that you are standing on that path in the merchant’s garden. What would you have done if you had been the unfortunate girl? If you had had to advise her what would you have advised her to do?

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Protected: does bribing the examiner work?

Posted by hema on July 4, 2007

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Protected: teaching uncomfortable topics(1:only girls allowed)

Posted by hema on July 1, 2007

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