Saturday, October 3, 2015

First week of school

If you would like to subscribe to this blog via email, please insert your email address in the box to the right of this post to ensure you never miss an update.

Well, we survived!! We can both officially say that we made it through our first week of school! I only had one day of teaching, but Mike had a full week of both Master's classes and Turkish classes.  

Starting on Monday, Mike began Turkish lessons.  He goes every morning from 9:00 until 1:00.  This is through a different school than we took lessons before.  Then, in the afternoons on Tuesday and Thursday, as well as Monday mornings (instead of Turkish class), he goes to his Master's classes.   Mike's first week of Master's classes got off to kind of a bumpy start. He missed the first class because he wasn't registered yet, but luckily got the syllabus for that class.  Then, on Tuesday, he went to his second class (each class only meets once a week) only to find out it was cancelled. Finally, on Thursday, he was hoping to finally go to class.  When he showed up, he found a note on the door to say that the class was going to start an hour late.  It did eventually start and he met a few people from his program (there are only five or six).  

He is definitely a busy guy now and I think we're both worried that it might be  a little too much.  Each section of the Turkish class is a month long, so we figured that he can just reevaluate at the end of the month if he wants to keep taking Turkish lessons.  He would like to eventually be fluent in Turkish, but we also want him to be able to enjoy his Master's classes and focus on those.  Plus, he is finding that the classes aren't quite as helpful as he was hoping. They focus on grammar, when he needs more vocabulary instruction. So, he's just taking it day by day and we'll see what he decides at the end of the month.

Traditional first day of school picture.  I think he was imitating Josh Rehak's first day of school picture :)
This is how he really wanted to pose 
The syllabus for the one class Mike actually attended.  Jealous is not one word I would use to describe how I feel about that!

My schedule is definitely not as strenuous, thank goodness! I taught my first class on Thursday to the most advanced students.  I knew the skills that they were supposed to have, but had been told they weren't quite there yet.  I also didn't have many guidelines on what to do with them.  My only instructions were to keep them talking in English. Since I didn't know what their vocabulary was like or what kind of grammar skills they had, I kept it simple.  We spent the first hour just getting to know each other and asking questions.  They were pretty interested in hearing about what I thought of Turkey.

Over the next hour and a half, we did debates.  I kept it simple since I didn't really know what their vocabulary and grammar levels were.  We did things like cats vs. dogs, Twitter vs. Facebook, computers vs mobile phones, etc.  I thought that was pretty on target with where they were with their vocabulary, but when I asked them at the end of the class what we should do next week (I'll meet with them once a week I think), they said to make it more advanced.  I guess, in the past, they've had more philosophical discussions. It was kind of disappointing, but I guess I can't feel too bad since I really had no idea what to expect.

Overall, it was a rocky start to the semester, but I think we're both feeling better about how the semester is looking and what we'll actually be doing here. Hopefully, Mike can find a balance of Turkish lessons and Master's classes and I can find ways to get the students talking while helping them learn the vocabulary and grammar.  Here's to hoping!
Flowers from Mike for my first day of teaching.  I guess he's a keeper ;)