my burogu

How it's going, like.

Monday, June 05, 2006


I was involved in a demonstration class today at Junior High School. The rules of a demonstration class are this:

  1. Put as much pressure on the teacher as possible, especially if he / she's new to teaching. That way he / she's bound to perform nervously, and you can point out all of their faults, and undermine their confidence even more.

  2. Fill the classroom with as many teachers as possible, always including the principal and head teacher. That way you make the students incredibly nervous too.

  3. Spend at least 10 hours working on the lesson "plan". That way nothing can go wrong, and it's bound to be a great lesson.

  4. Rehearse the lesson. That way when the students are on show to all of the teachers, they will know what answers to give, and make the teacher look really effective.

  5. Make sure it's the dullest lesson in history. That way the students won't laugh, and you'll all be seen to be taking it seriously and doing a good job.

So in the lesson rehearsal today I was reading from the book (enough to send me to sleep even with a class full of kids present) as my 2 English teachers parroted back the text - as many times as the students would be required to and in the same style. I'm not sure if they didn't trust my ability to read, my ability to read at the right time, or if they're just so obsessed with being over prepared that they feel they have to do it. I hope it's the latter.
The teacher also pointed out the best technique for sticking flashcards to the blackboard. I thought that if they were on the board, and the students could read them, then that would be OK, but I was mistaken. It turns out that they have to be 100% horizontal too. I'm surprised she didn't get her spirit level out - It's the only thing she missed.
Anyway, the whole idea of these demonstration classes is utterly ridiculous. I really really really don't agree with them. I think the Japanese techers feel the same way, but they'll never admit it.


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