Comment of the Fortnight
20 July 1997
Time Flies When You're Having Fun
It's been a busy two weeks. I've been spending the mornings as a substitute
teacher for an English as a Second Language class in summer school.
The students are at the high school level, and it is so much nicer
teaching them than teaching American students.
- The students want to learn. I don't care what any idiot immigrant-basher
tells you; these students know that English is the ticket to sucess.
- Most of them have basic knowledge that Americans lack.
I could go on and on, but you get the drift.
- When I ask them to add 1/2 and 1/3
I do not get blank looks, and I certainly don't get 2/5.
- Unlike American students, they know of the existence of countries other than
the United States, and can actually point them out on the map.
- There are fewer discipline problems. When asked to do an assignment,
the students never curse at me in response, nor do they give the whining response
of, "But what about my self-esteem???" This doesn't mean they are eager to do
what they're asked; they just don't give me a wagonload of garbage about it.
If it seems like I'm being unfairly harsh towards American students, I probably am.
Having substituted for both ESL and American students, though, I am certain which
group I prefer by far.
Above and beyond that, I've spent the past two weeks working on a project which I will
tell you all about once it's released.
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