This is a request from Gail (better known as the Bread Lady to regular readers). She is working with a group helping refugees, teaching kitchen skills, and mentioned that they need teachers to help improve the English skills of their clients.
I can kill two birds with one stone by blogging with that title, as it is also the title that appears on Twitter.
So if you are a retired teacher from the Nottingham area, or know of any retired teachers from the area, let me know if you can spend a few hours teaching English to refugees.You can, of course, also volunteer even if you aren’t retired or a teacher. I’m sure she’ll be happy to accept help from anyone with a few hours to spare.
I’ll leave it there for now, as I still have along list of jobs to do (having been diverted by making the blanks for 35 masks for tomorrow’s visit. I’m not good with a glue gun, and progress was not swift. However, I did end up with 35 masks. I also have burnt finger tips, glue on my clothes and a spider web of glue trails all over the place.
As Julia said: “You can’t get the help these days.”
Many of them merge into one and only a few stick in my memory. There was one last week where all the kids seemed really switched on, and knew the answers to the questions involving mummification and Christopher Columbus. Yes, it all relates to pizza…
Then there are others where the helpers decide to take their own session at the back of the class or where the teachers think they are still taking the class. The two sessions this Tuesday both had helpers who wanted to take their own sessions, but the first session also had a teacher who stepped in to contradict me. I can’t help wondering what would have happened if I’d visited her class and told them all she was wrong in mid-sentence.
For the record, if I’d been allowed to finish what I was saying she would have seen I was correct.
She’d already corrected me for using the term “groups of two” – it seems they are “pairs”. She then went on to answer for various children when I asked if they wanted more water for their dough. She said they didn’t, and though I did eventually manage to get extra water in most of them we still had some very hard, dry dough.
Some adventurous pizza shapes
We didn’t do the questions about mummification or Christopher Columbus, because it seemed like every time I asked a question I was told “We haven’t done that yet.” or she pursed her lips and shook her head.
I could go on…and on…
Now, I know from past experience, that if I had objected to any of this it would result in a complaint, it always does. I don’t get many complaints, but I am now at a stage when I can predict them. I’m also at a stage where I’m getting fed up with this sort of stuff, to the extent I’m seriously thinking of stopping.
So the question for today is, do any of you polite, tactful readers know of a way to handle this sort of situation? Are there any secret code words I can use to make myself part of the teaching fraternity? Or any special ways of saying “be quiet”?
I already start the lesson by telling people what we are going to do, that we are going to do it stage by stage at the pace of the slowest group (I’m a little more tactful than that) and that I will issue instructions for each phase, but it doesn’t seem to help.
All suggestions gratefully received (even from teachers!).