Sunday, September 27, 2009


Alternativ seems to be in a constant state of relaxed chaos. None of us have full time schedules yet, but the majority of jobs are at schools in the suburbs of Prague or in the business districts near to where Alternativ is located. Devon has a Friday night classes way out in the country, but that's a different story.(Needless to say, he comes home and showers while drinking a beer, because he "doesn't have time" to do these separately.)
As we speak my schedule has been town apart a little bit. But up until yesterday it looked something like this:
On Tuesday mornings I wake up at 5:30 to make it to Bujeovicka metro stop to teach a 7am lesson with Mrs. Zamberska. She is a secretary at a company which pays for all of its employees to have language lessons. Even though it is very early, and extremely depressing to arrive in the dark to teach and leave when the sun is finally lighting up the sky, I find this lesson to be very fulfilling. She's an intermediate student so communication is pretty basic, we've just started on one of the future tenses. Emphasis on one of. Apparently in Czech there is only one future tense; I sense a challenge ahead of me.

My other job is in the afternoons, five days a week at a primary school called Kunratice Skola. After two weeks of working there i finally learned how to pronounce it. I have a group of children 6 to 9 years old. Which is a huge age difference in every aspect. My favorite children are the 6 and 7 years old because they aren't corrupted yet...

I think this may have been the original school. However I'm in a different building that has been renovated and added to.

I take the metro for about 20 min and then a bus for another 10 through the old communist housing blocks (pictures to come) and arrive in what was probably an old village before Prague swallowed it up. It's a very quaint and peaceful area.

I arrive in the afternoons in time to eat lunch with the children and then help my colleague Linda to bring them to the classroom I teach in.
For about an hour I teach them new vocabulary and talk to them. Linda, who is Czech, helps me when the children need something that wild gestures and a few words in English can't communicate. After that I take them outside and play if the weather is nice, or we stay inside and paint or color. We have yet to use the kitchen to bake, I'm a little fearful of all of the factors involved in this:
-Children. Baking.
-Finding an English recipe, but then using European measurements.
-children. baking.

Then we have snack and play time.
I was semi upset that I traveled all the why to the Czech Republic to basically babysit every afternoon, however I see the improvements everyday. My training in teaching young children comes in handy, and comes naturally. I teach them phrases by hitting the floor and giving them a rhythm to attach to their words. When we learn new words we whisper them and then shout them... It seems chaotic, but a lot of the children couldn't communicate with me when I arrived, but now can ask to use the bathroom or to play games, or in one instance ask me how my lunch was, "Your lunch is good, yes?"
I think language and fluency comes very slowly, however with the children, now that they are comfortable with me, have no trouble mimicking everything i say (when we play games I say a word and they, without prompting, repeat it). Even though I'm not supposed to be teaching them a proper lesson everyday, because this is an after school program, i think that in no time I will have 23 new English speakers on my hands.
Which makes the discipline easier.

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