What?

Mar. 1st, 2014 01:28 pm
sister_luck: (oops)
The people designing exam questions are mean:

There are six words and seven definitions. If you answer everything correctly and then get to no. six (exercise) you have two choices left:

C activity you do to stay fit

or

H a short period of training


This is an exam for the students who are leaving school with basic qualifications and yes, English is their second (or in some cases third) language.

I am expected to only accept C.

That's splitting hairs, right?
sister_luck: (oops)
So there I was at the local branch of an international chain selling office supplies because I wanted to buy something I'd seen in their advertising. Yes, I know but the item I was after was a ring binder so ugly that I needed to get it - it is for a special purpose.

Of course the store was swarming with people - school starts here tomorrow or the day after (if it's your first day at school) and there were these confused groups of parents with lists in hand looking for their children and for the various items that they will need for their first day of school. Blue is for boys... )
sister_luck: (girl)
Pictures of old-fashioned entertainment )

(Germans would never dream of calling kindergarten 'school', but I know that other countries do, so I've used the 'school' tag on this.)
sister_luck: (oops)
In my wanderings around the internet I stumbled across the case of an American school teacher who was suspended for three days (two without pay) for playing a YouTube video in class. It appears the school's administration and the school district were unhappy because it was a hiphop song about marriage equality and they don't approve. Well, I think that's stupid, and even the school district knows that so they got the teacher on a technicality: She showed the video without pre-screening it herself (which can be problematic if you cannot trust the student who suggests a clip) and because she didn't "submit a completed form about the proposed clip to a building administrator for approval" as required by the staff handbook.
Paperwork about every material I use in class? I'd go crazy and it would seriously cramp my teaching style. Colleagues out there: Is this policy where you teach? How much freedom do you have in selecting material and how much influence do you have on the curriculum?
sister_luck: (Default)
Whether you come at this from the perspective of a student or an educator, I'd like you to look into an old post (dreamwidth link) of mine:

I'd value your input (livejournal link) - whenever you get round to it - about your experiences with special needs students at your schools and whether they are/were integrated/included in any way or whether they lead a segregated existence from the regular students.

Just a "works in my experience/it's complicated/it's a disaster" would be great.
sister_luck: (Default)
This is not a well-researched post. I'm just throwing out some observations:

At school we've been discussing the fact that German schools are way behind in implementing the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Currently the federal states are writing laws to make sure that parents can send their children with disabilities to mainstream schools. Of course this also means closing lots of the special schools (most children with disabilities attend highly specialized schools) and possibly saving a little money in the long-term. Rambling )

Omertà.

Oct. 6th, 2012 08:31 pm
sister_luck: (oops)
Schools are full of mafiosi. Whenever something happens that the teachers don't like or when someone breaks the rules and it's not immediately clear whodunnit there's a massive wall of silence.
It needs a lot of pressure to break through it and you don't always succeed.
There are sweet wrappers on the floor? No one dropped them, no one saw anything and no one ate the sweets. No one is responsible for the mess.
Ultimately it doesn't matter who caused the litter, but guess who puts it in the bin? Most of the time it won't be the person who dropped it.
It doesn't matter whether the infraction is minor or major, you just don't tell on others. Being a rat is considered lowest of the low.
That's the theory, but there's one big factor that means it doesn't always work: everyone loves gossip, too, so if it's something juicy, the truth will out.
And when it's out, all the culprit wants to know is who ratted them out. "If I find out I'm gonna kill them."
sister_luck: (rain)
Ugur and Ali have a lot in common: Their families are originally from Turkey, but both were born in Germany. They are friends. Well, most of the time. There is one thing that stands between them: Ali keeps teasing Ugur about being a Kurd: Wer nichts wurde, wurde Kurde. Telling him that he doesn't even have a state to belong to.
At the jobfair all was forgotten and they agreed that the Bundeswehr had the most interesting jobs on offer. That would be the German army. "They only take German nationals", I tell them, keeping all my other thoughts about an army career to myself.
Ugur is unfazed, he wants to apply for a German passport as soon as he can anyway. Ali is suddenly quiet, but not for very long: He tells me he wants to do his next work experience with the police.
sister_luck: (girl)
Just a quick note to say that yesterday was my day for intercultural exchange and I got to speak English for most of the day. In other words: I accompanied the group of students who are participating in the German-English exchange. I'm very grateful for the colleague who set it all up, who put a lot of work into organising it. It meant all I had to do was show up and then help out a little. Our English partners are a great bunch and it was heart-warming to witness German and English students interact, from working together and flirting to conflict resolution.
When Chelsea gave Katharina a hug because she had opened up about her problems at home, I nearly teared up. The evening before Katharina had been due to take Chelsea and one of the English boys to her house, but they went to her boyfriend's place first where they played football in his garden and visited the horses. Chelsea didn't understand what was going on and the next day she told her friends and then the meddling started... There were tears on both sides, but when Katharina explained in halting English that she just wasn't getting along with her parents and when Chelsea said that she had enjoyed staying with Katharina at her house, it was all good again. (There was also the promise of home-made pizza and Singstar and Katharina and her mom were finally talking..)
Also, I loved getting compliments for my English.
sister_luck: (Default)
When I read this Joss Whedon interview on my phone I wanted to keepsake what he said about appreciating Shakespeare. Of course, I mislaid the link and it took me a while to find it again. Thus, here, as a quotation with a link back of course, is what he said:


[Interviewer]I must admit, I am someone who needs to study Shakespeare to understand the dialogue. What is the threshold that one can cross to get a deeper appreciation of the language?

[Joss Whedon] There’s two ways. One is you really pick a play apart and you go over it and you understand all of the references and the intent. Just everything that he’s doing in terms of character, in terms of talking about humanity, in terms of even punning, the rhythms. The more you get into it and learning his basic vocabulary, that’s really useful. However, it pales beyond seeing a good production, because a good production of a play or a good movie of it will give you something that all the study in the world can’t. It will give you the humanity of it. When you access that, the language almost becomes secondary. You can understand it without necessarily understanding what it is exactly is being said. If you understand that the person who’s saying it is really f***ing angry at the other guy and you know why, then you’re in the story. Then gradually the language seeps in.



Source

At school, I'm aiming to follow both ways. In future, I'll have a Joss Whedon film to aid me.

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