Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Teaching nightmare #24

You arrive for a two hour class that is completely textbook-based. As the students open the box of fresh new books you notice something is amiss. You tell yourself you are mistaken, but on closer examination, you discover that the students have an entire class set of a book you don't have.
Do you:
A. Scrap the lesson and improvise something on the spot?

B. Borrow one of the student's books and do a quick read-through of the first chapter while attempting to improvise something on the spot?
C. Yell, scream, throw your book on the floor and stomp out of the room?

Turns out, if you chose "B" as I did, that would be the wrong choice. See the book the students have is book 3 of a series that gets progressively more difficult, (i'm not 100% sure the students are ready for book 1 of this series actually). Thinking maybe the students had somehow been through the previous books (and no Chinese teacher in sight), I decided to go with the flow and see what I could salvage out of the chapter. After a somewhat painful lesson where I discovered that the book indeed is much too difficult for them, I found out that someone had ordered and/or sent the wrong books. A call to the supplying office confirmed this fact.
J: "I heard the book is too hard for the students"
Me: "It's definitely too hard"
J: "So you can't use it with them"
Me: "No"
J: "Did they write in the books today"
(stupid, stupid, stupid) Me: "Yes, I'm afraid many of them did"
J: "Oh, we can't exchange them then"

Me: "I see, well I can create my own curriculum"
J: "AND they're kind of expensive, and the parents will be expecting their children to use the books. So can you use this book to teach the class?"
Me: "I guess I'll try" (doesn't seem to be much of a choice.... am i a pushover?)


  1. wow, it's a few days since I've checked your blog and now there's so much to read!! It really stinks about those textbooks... guh, so frusterating, I don't know what I would've done.
    anyhow, I miss you, so be online!!

  2. hey, at least you have a curriculum to teach. I was told to teach them whatever I wanted to - with no clue as to the students level.

  3. Two words: Ai. Ya.
    Two more words: Jia. Yo.