My class early this morning were the lower end of the English spectrum at the college and are extremely hard to teach. With my other classes, the English level is pretty good (well, good enough to have a bit of banter with), which helps the classroom dynamics considerably. With todays class though, much of what was happening (simple telephone skills) went straight over their heads, and whilst they are polite, well-behaved and get straight to task when it's asked of them in general, the sheer amount of patience needed with this group really stretches me.

There is one activity however, that in my two years of teaching has never failed to whip a class out of a coma. Each pair of students receives a bit of paper laminated in plastic film, a board pen, and a tissue. The teacher (me) reads out a word from a recent topic (today it was fruit and veg) after which the students have to correctly spell the word on their mini white-board and hold it up. The first pair to do so gets a point. After each word, they rub out the pen and start again.

Well, if ever I've seen a class respond to this game, it was this one! Going from vacant abandonment one minute to whopping, hollering, laughing, arguing, (not forgetting spelling!) the next was a sight to behold and once again restored my faith in my ability to turn a class around; an ability which I hope I never lose. (Experience has also taught me to be careful not to overdo that activity, or the effect it has soon wears off!)

Anyway, both me and the class left happy.

"See you next week", I said.
"Inshallah" came the reply.

The sun rising over Muscat's mountain range is something I've been meaning to catch for a while, and with it getting a little bit later each day, I made the effort to get to work early (this is the view from my college car park) to Blip it. As it turns out, the journey, which can take anything up to 45 gridlocked minutes, took only 10 today. Cheers Blipfoto!


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