written September 16, 2009
It's the end of the third week of school and I still don't have a permanent schedule. I am told what my day's schedule will be at approximately 1:30pm the day before. This is not uncommon for Kazakhstan. The administration takes the month of September to get organized and the teachers scramble about making do in the mean time. More importantly than the teacher not having a reliable schedule is the fact that none of the English classes have books. Aparently this is also something that takes the month of September to coordinate. For anyone who has ever taught students before, I'm sure you can imagine how difficult it is for a teacher to plan lessons without a book and with less than 24 hours notice as to which classes will be taught.
As a result, for the past three weeks I have been making up lesson plans using the internet, my own creativity or any other resource I have available. This week, running low on ideas, I came across a lesson theme online that I thought might be of interest for my 7th form students. The theme? Pirates. I found a song online (The Pirate Song) and pulled the Pittsburg Pirate logo off the internet. After learning new vocabulary words (like peg leg), and listening to The Pirate Song, I showed them the Pittsburg Pirate logo and told them that for the last 10 minutes of class, their job was to design a NEW logo for the baseball team and that we would vote on the winner (and that person would receive a 5 for the day - this is the equivalent of an A+).
I thought you might like to see what my students came up with...