Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Teaching on Hallowe'en

Yeah, yeah, I'm way behind, and I promise to get a full-blown post up soon. But this will have to do for now: A few observations on teaching on Hallowe'en.

First, I taught at the local high school today. Thank goodness, I'm not sure how crazy it would have been at an elementary school (but I have a good idea). It was Spanish class, and they were already in the middle of watching some movies, so I just wrapped them up. The first year classes watched the DVD of Haunted Mansion in Spanish with English subtitles. When some of them tried to wheedle me into switching those languages around, I threatened to switch the subtitles to French. The second year students watched the Spanish tape of Casper. It was fun, but I did see Haunted Mansion a few times too many (my usual complaint when I show a video — but at least it allowed me to quietly catch up on some reading as well). There was also a class working on the yearbook, but I pretty much had to take roll, then let them do their stuff. To my surprise, there were not a lot of costumes, but this may have been due in part to Homecoming being last week (I was even there for the Homecoming assembly), and they had a lot of dressing up for that. Best costumes I encountered were a boy dressed as a cow, and a girl just wearing some generic black outfit with a cape who said something different every time someone asked what she was. I think I ended up asking her about a dozen times, just to see what she would say. Oh, yeah, there was also a very impressive movie-style Batman roaming the halls as well.

For the first time ever, the evening tutoring job was open on Halloween, and as I suspected, it was not a huge success. Many students cancelled, and many others didn't show up. Of the ones that did, the younger ones were too excited about the holiday to fucus well on their work. It was so light that many of us teachers got to go home early (which is why I actually have time to blog about it tonight), and when the final hour starts, there will be only two teachers and three students. If they ask me (and they won't), I will recommend going back to having the night off in future years.

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