I’ve been incredibly busy lately. I knew that my first year of teaching would entail incredible amounts of work on my part and it has definitely proved to be all of that and more. I’m happy to say that I’m loving every minute of it, though!
Teaching high school students has proven to be one of the most rewarding and exciting experiences in my life thus far. I learn something new every day and there is never a dull moment both in and out of the classroom. What has surprisingly proven to be one of the most difficult things for me in my teaching experience so far is how my students have this incredible talent to somehow get me completely off topic. One second I’m talking about algebra and the next minute I’m talking about how New Zealanders call all candy lollies which I find confusing because whenever someone says lolly I think of a lolly pop but a lolly is really any kind of candy over here besides chocolate. I think? See – I don’t even know. Wait, was I talking about triangles? Where am I? You darn kids!
Today, I was teaching a Trigonometry lesson and hilarity ensued.
A plane takes off at an angle of 41° with the ground. It travels through the air until it is 8m high. How far has the plane traveled through the air?
Don’t worry. We don’t actually have to do math. I will show you my beautiful picture that I drew on the whiteboard, though. I demonstrated how our diagram should be drawn (with some feedback from my students, of course), and then I drew in a plane because you’ve got to illustrate your triangle pictures!
The problem is… I can’t draw. That is my plane. (If you play me in Draw Something then you will understand.)
A couple students started laughing.
One student said, “Miss! Haven’t you ever been on a plane before?”
Laughter followed. Because, of course, here I am – a foreign teacher standing in front of the class. This New Yorker teaching a class of New Zealanders while in New Zealand. Have I ever been on a plane? Gee, I wonder. (Maybe I should have taken it as a compliment that they think I fit in so well that I belong here.)
I looked at the student quite seriously and replied, “No. I actually swam here.”
Then I continued with my board work.
The best thing about writing on the board is that you can turn around and smile and smirk while you’re writing but the students can’t see. Then you can turn around all calm and composed and make a perfect, premeditated remark at just the right time to make them not know what to think. Turn around and write again. Throw in some math. Catch them off guard. Rinse and repeat.
I love teaching high school.