27/09/2010

FRANKENSTEIN , SHAKESPEARE ... OR SOCCER?

I was preparing my lessons for tomorrow and thought it must sound incredible to those of you who imagine teaching is a part-time job with a lot of spare time: it's past  midnight and I've been working till now! On Sunday! What have I been doing? I've been re-reading some very famous pages for the**th time in my life! I've been re-reading the texts I'm going to read with my students tomorrow and my notes about the authors and the context, I couldn't do without. Then , I've prepared some  easy exercises for my language/grammar lessons.
In fact,   tomorrow I'll be coping with my younger students (so vivacious!) from 8.15 to 10.15. Being mostly boys, they are more interested in soccer than in learning English so I'm sure tomorrow our English conversation class, which is supposed to be about their summer readings and holidays, will be "disturbed" by the results of today's matches. They always want to talk about football and I'm not very good at that: I have very limited knowledge and very limited vocabulary (penalty, score a goal, goalkeeper, mid-fielder, attacking mid-fielder, defender, striker, captain, manager, team ...too little for a conversation!) . IBut I got to a compromise: they  teach me about soccer (but I'm not that good as a pupil) and I'll teach them some English. They usually feel motivated and they collaborate more actively if you show some interest in their world and passtimes. This is the easiest part of my tasks.I 'll have to stimulate conversation in English and to correct some grammar exercises (past continuous / past simple).

Then,  from 10.15 to 11.15 I'll be reading FRANKENSTEIN by Mary Shelley with my oldest students (5th year, the last year in our school, 19-year-old students). We are going to read the part of the novel in which the creature is the narrator and the reader sees the story from his point of view: the monster as an outcast is the theme. I'll be linking the creature's sad tale to J.J. Rousseau's idea of a "good natural man" and discussing the theme of the double in this gripping, complex novel.

From 11.15 to 12.15 I've got an hour off to fill in evaluation forms , correct entry tests, prepare photocopies (a coffee?)



From 12.15 to 13.15 I'll be reading Shakespeare's ROMEO AND JULIET with my 4th year students (18-year-old) . We've talked about Shakespeare and the Elizabethan Drama in general, we've watched the final part of the movie Shakespeare in love and discussed about the main features of the Theatre of the age. Now it's time to start reading the famous,  tragic love-story. We'll start from the Masque, the crucial meeting between the two young lovers at the Capulets' party. Romeo's soliloquy followed by the two lovers' exchange resulting in a sonnet:

Romeo :"Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight!
For I ne'er saw true beauty till this night"
(...)
"Then move not, while my prayer's effect I take.
(he kisses her)
Thus from my lips by thine my sin is purged".

Was it worth  to be up till a quarter past midnight? I don't know. I'll discover it tomorrow, well in a few hours,  in my students' eyes and reactions. For now, good night. I really hope to have Shakespearean love dreams and not Gothic Shellean nightmares, now!

9 comments:

TeeTotallyNot said...

wow. I'd love to be one of your students tomorrow. Especially between 10.15 and 11.15 :)
I haven't prepared anything yet for my class tomorrow but it's plain ole grammar most of the time anyway, and I was too busy watching Fußball today. In hindsight I should have prepared my class .. and avoided watching nor defeat.
Come to think of it - football as example for grammar .. conditional 3 comes to mind... might just try that. Or we could discuss Spooks :)
Anyroad, have a good one, and have fun tomorrow.

Karen said...

Thank you for such a lovely - and sunny!!! -Sunday at the "lake district", MG! * hugs* I'm sorry you've had to stay up till late because of me, though!
One hour off today? What a waste of time! You'd better switch and get one tomorrow morning, IYKWIM! ;)
Good luck with the soccer lesson, and enjoy the rest of your day,
xx K

Alexa Adams said...

It sounds like you have a rewarding day ahead. While I can't envy you you Romeo and Juliet (which I have read far too many times and now find grating - I can't imagine having to teach it!), Frankenstein is one of my favorite novels of all time, and I can never get enough of it. Throw in Rousseau and you've got Romantic heaven, by my way of thinking. I hope your students appreciate it! Have a fabulous week!

MARIA GRAZIA said...

@TeeTotallyNot
A teacher too? I'd missed this information about you. You'd be my students' favourite!
Thank you, T.
@Karen
Darling "amichetta", I didn't mind wasting my time walking with you in the lake district near my house. Then you know, for one reason or another, I never sleep more than 5 hours. We can't sleep our life away!
Ready to sleep very little tonight? Spooks 0902!!! Hugs. MG
@Alexa
My secret not to get bored is... to choose each time I've got a 4th year class different Shakespearean plays. Uncle Will wrote 37 of them, didn't he? So, each time I choose 2 comedies and 2 tragedies trying to change. This year the tragedies are Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth. The comedies Much Ado about Nothing ( I saw it at the theatre in August) and The Merchant of Venice (the latter is one of those I read very often and my students like the best!)
Thanks, A. The best of the week to you, too!

JaneGS said...

Sounds like a fulfilling day you have/had in store. It's probably good for balance to go from Frankenstein to R&J. Do you ever have your students watch the movie versions of R&J? Interestingly my teenagers enjoy the Zeffirelli version and loathe the Leonardo Dicaprio version--they hate hearing the words in modern setting and think it's just silly.

MARIA GRAZIA said...

@JaneGS
I usually don't use the whole film in my lessons but small fragments. If I have different editions, I show my students the same scene (the one we are reading) according to different directors. I rarely work on an entire movie. It takes long and we don't have enough time. If I had to suggest a R & J version to my students , it'd be Zeffirelli's but it's up to them when they do it out of the lesson.
Thanks, Jane!

lunarossa said...

Gosh, you've been very busy preparing all this! That's exactly why I rebelled against becoming a teacher and opted for translating instead! Too much preparation...Not trat translating is easier..But I didn't know at the time...My son dropped English Literature for his A Levels, such a pity because he was doing so well! I'm sure if he had had you as a teacher, he might have given it a chance! Ciao. A.

MARIA GRAZIA said...

@lunarossa
And I gave up translating because it was hard underpaid work. I discovered teaching was more creative and now I love my job (except for its beaurocracy and boring afternoon meetings)
Thanks, A., for trusting me so much! I'm so sorry for your son. But, unfortunately, my students too often fail. I don't know why but ...Italians are not very good at learning English! Un abbraccio. MG

Becky said...

How did it go? I was tired reading this, but have to say that I'm still at school myself. The hours we put in to a small lesson, and then the hours we spend grading anything that came about from said class can be staggering! I'm glad you got that across in your post. :) I hope it went well! It looks great to me.