What Happens in Class, Doesn’t Stay in Class VII

  • My lesson on new technologies involved a video of a dog with deformed front legs getting 3D-printed prosthetics, and the happy ending made some of Al’s students cry. Do I regret anything? Nope.
  • I got to teach not one, but two massive classes that consisted of a single student. Props to the first one for having watched Dead Poets Society and the second one for being twice as interested because he wants to live in America and never come back to France. (Even if I question his judgment because of, you know, the watery tasteless orange who’s somehow in charge of the US.)
  • I played “Guess Who?” fairy tale-style with Jt’s students, and none of them knew Rumpelstiltskin, even when I gave them the French title. Am I too old, or are they too young?
  • One day, I called on the first student on the list of terminales, and he asked, “What am I supposed to do?” We maintained direct eye contact for about a second before we burst into laughter because I have no idea what I’m doing, either.
  • At showed her class a video on why the US doesn’t use the metric system, and I had to try desperately not to laugh when the video said Americans saw the system as a “foreign Francophone invasion.” I hate to break it to you, but the very language you speak is a Francophone invasion.
  • While grading terminales, I was deeply concerned when a student said, “tried to eat a policeman” until I realized I’d misunderstood his accent—he’d said, “tried to hit a policeman.”
  • I was going through various TV shows with one of my fluent classes, and when I stopped on Pushing Daisies and asked if they’d heard of Hannibal, they shook their heads. So I said the show’s about a guy who eats people, and one girl looked so horrified that I felt awful and hastily said, “They’re produced by the same person, but they’re two completely different shows; I promise Pushing Daisies is cutesy.”
    • Similarly, I terrified a seconde when I started playing the trailer for Stranger Things. She pulled her scarf over her eyes, and I hurriedly reassured her, “There’s nothing in the trailer.” Sorry, kid.
    • Another seconde read the description for Avatar, said aloud, “A young boy,” and guessed, “Mickey Mouse?”
  • There’s nothing like having a class of students stare at you and F, utterly mesmerized, when she asks, “Did you understand?” until one kid pipes up, “Yes!”
  • We did a travel agent/traveler role play, and one pair of students told me that they wanted to sleep for free in a teepee.
  • During my lesson on flatsharing in the US, a kid in S’s class said “chicken” instead of “kitchen,” promptly confusing everyone.
    • S asked them what a single person was, and she got responses like “not popular” and “singer.”
    • When I showed them a picture of Iszi and me at graduation, they thought it was a marriage photo. (I mean, they’re not wrong; she is my wife. Well…one of them.)

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