Back in the Classroom

The students have been clamouring for it and today we made it a reality. We had face to face classes for the first time since mid March. For me, it was the first time back in the classroom since mid February.

I was given a mask and a face shield. The students were given instructions to keep their masks on at all times and maintain physical distancing rules. The school has a whole host of changes that involve not using some of the equipment, limiting the ability of students to congregate and restricting access. I have a line not to cross and no photocopies shall be given. There are other rules and sanitizing equipment, but you get the idea.

I was a bit nervous to go in and teach today. I was more nervous to ride the bus and subway with a bunch of strangers than the students. I knew that the teaching would suffer a little, but it might be time to open up again. There are only a few students left at the school, but there seem to be a bunch in the Toronto area who have been waiting to take face to face classes, so it might work out.

I probably would have been fine to continue on for another month giving classes from my spare room. However, the students really want face to face classes. Therefore, we are taking it slow. There are only a handful of students in the school and things are scheduled so they are not able to mingle. We are only there for a few hours on Monday Wednesday and Friday, so it isn’t every day yet.

I am not sure ESL is meant to be taught this way, but I will do my best to carry out the plan.

About Anthony

I am: equal parts rebel, romantic and shockingly average Joe. a writer trapped inside of an ESL teacher's body. an introverted attention seeker. a teacher who hopes one day to be called "Captain, my Captain." an intellectual who can do some very dumb things. a person whose Japan experience, despite being so long ago, still exerts a strong influence upon him. a lover of books, music, beer, hockey and Pizza.
This entry was posted in appreciation, Covid 19, ESL, obstacles, teaching, Toronto and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Back in the Classroom

  1. Peggy says:

    Our classes will start soon. But I am a relief teacher, going from school to school. Nobody quite knows what to do with us. I am nervous to go back to work, not because of COVID, just because it has been a long time being away.

  2. Sounds promising on one level…

  3. When I taught in China I could never understand how my students learned anything with 1 – 2 classes per week. With excellent self discipline some of them did. Classes every day resulted in better overall retention.

    • Anthony says:

      I agree. Some students can make lower frequency classes work, but most can only use them to maintain their current ability level.
      My students do about twenty-two hours a week in class. They are also participating in an English speaking country (except when they go to an ethnic neighbourhood in Toronto) so they should get enough practice…..should being the operative word.

      • Whenever (generally by the second class) my students asked how they could improve their English I told them by using the three P method. Which I would of course write on the board and say each time. Practice, Practice, Practice. Usually written in a column. By the third time the majority of the class would be able to repeat. Only a bare handful would catch on after the second. I often wondered what they had been learning!

  4. Joanna Axiak says:

    Wow, Anthony! I am not looking forward to teachig with a mask and face shield. Definitely not the way ESL should be taught and learned. All the best to you friend. Good luck!

  5. retrodee says:

    I hope it works out. I’m sure it will take a bit of getting used to.

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