Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Tuesdays Tantrums

Well, here we are into the last week before the exams and its tearing the hair out time. You know I used to have a full head of shiny light brown almost fair hair and now is flecked with grey and vanishing rapidly.

Part of this is down to the adminmissitration from the contemptable incompetant project manager and his sidekick ( hereafter known as the Fully Undynamic Duo or FUDs), partly from their policies ( hiring and otherwise) partly from the school, partly from the agency, partly from me and partly from the kids. The biggest two are the FUDs. They sit around all day and produce so little in the way of visible helpful output. They have known since May that the exams were coming up in September and when did they get around to chosing which set to use? Last Week. Have they typed up a clear policy on how to use them and what to do? No, of course not, that would be too much like work and useful to boot. Did they ask the thai admin assistants to make copies for the teachers? No. They pinned one copy up on a noticeboard and left it to the teachers to make their own copy. Have we had a meeting to discuss the questions, the way we are doing it, timing? Sort of. But basically it was like this blog sometimes, totally rambling, incoherent and you came out the other end wondering what just happened and what medication they are on ( or should be on).

This week is desparately trying to preteach a whole load of new concepts ( did I put this in last week? shows you you just how confused and mentally retarded I have become! ) like Bank, Cinema, Library and what they are. Not so easy. Maybe I should just give them the answers or help them during the test or maybe even not give a rats arse and c'est la vie.
One problem is that we are giving them a different exam from a different curiculum than we are using. Hence the sudden need for preteaching a whole new raft of words and concepts. The other thing is that supposedly, to give the exam - The University of Cambridge English Exam ( Starters ), we are supposed to be certified to give it. None of us are.
I am also giving them a dummy lestening test which basically makes them draw lines between things, colour certain objects in and draw others. Mainly testing prepostitions of place, colours and of course listening and comprehension - god that sentence makes me sound like a real teacher doesnt it! Anyway, the usual Thai ability levels kick in. Do nothing until I shout at them for the 10th time, somebody next to them does something - anything, so they can copy it or somebody shouts out in thai what they are supposed to do - usually wrongly.
To be fair, the Prathom 3's got it just about OK, but the P2s were totally useless. Since this score is going into their permanent records for the first time, I have grave doubts about some of them getting into double percentage figures. Even on the dummy test - colour the chair blue became colour the chair brown, yellow or the tree blue or the cry "teacher no colours!" would be heard - despite me checking just outside their classroom they had colours.
Do you have colours?
Oh dear.

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