Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Teaching Assistant?

Most people actually have no idea what I do. To be honest, neither do I a lot of the time; it's a really undefined job role, but it basically involves doing everything teachers do except actually properly teaching.

I spend 4 days a week working with kids in middle and senior school, which is year 5 to year 12. The other day I spend with the junior school, working with slightly younger kids who are from year 1 to year 4. Predictably, the two schools involve slightly different work.

At the junior school my role is almost entirely to run conversation classes with groups of kids, where I'm responsible for what I do for the 20 minutes I'm with each group. Although I started off just talking about various things (usually One Direction, for some reason) this quickly got boring so now I tend to do a frankly bizarre mix of exercises.

Last week the group took it in turns being a "tour guide" and showing me around school, and for another group I set up a mock border, which we all had to cross (legally) and have our passports and luggage checked. This week we got topical, and one group all pretended to be characters from James Bond and we ran around playing secret agents (I had a great time...), and another filmed election ads. In fact, here they are:

Working in the senior school, unfortunately, isn't quite like this. I do cultural classes, help the kids with their English and writing, and generally just be British. The general level of English is very good, so it's less teaching and more giving them practice speaking. I also help out with a bit of marking, exam administration, and general work around the department. Not bad, all in all.

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