Everything is a Teaching Opportunity

May 6, 2012

I have the kids to the point where their English is good enough to teach something besides colors, animals and actions. So I get to use my own life as teaching opportunities. This is as significant as when I travel to other countries, or as insignificant as when I get my nails done. I now ask the kids what color I should get my fingernails painted before I go off for my mani/pedi appointment. Let me tell you, the next day they are all waiting to see what color I got.
Mark and I have a trip to Thailand scheduled next month, and I put it up on the classroom calendar. This allows me to show them I will be gone, and that I am coming back. Plus we get to use new language like “month” “next” “last” “week” and most importantly “vacation.” Jenny always says “You no go Thailand!”, and then I pretend to cry. The entire class then tells me to go to Thailand but to bring them some sort of treat.
A couple of weeks ago I had to go for a checkup as part of the visa renewal process. I had to miss class that morning. But when I got back I told them all about the x-ray I had taken and how the nurses listened to my heart. I still had the band-aid on my arm from the blood sample, so I took that off in front of them. The band-aid actually had quite a bit of blood on it, so we talked about blood for the very first time. I also told them how I had to pee in a cup so the doctors could look at it. They thought that was hilarious.
Another teaching opportunity happened this week. I was pretending to tango in the office and tripped. Not only did I bruise my ego, but as my midsection landed on the corner of a desk during this debacle, I ended up bruising my side. It was a huge, painful bruise. So I used that as a teaching opportunity. Every morning I would show the kids the bruise on my side and ask what color it was today. We got to go through the whole rainbow by the end of the week. So, yes, I use just about everything as a teaching opportunity…even my own stupidity.


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