Well here we are in the new year 2015 January.  The end of the first semester and finals under way.
I haven't said much this term, access to blogger and other sites I like to use is not so easy here in China, yes there are ways around the commies, but not convenient ones.
I taught a full load of classes plus fulfill the role of department head for Arts & Electives.
Visual Arts 10 three blocks, each block 70 minutes long with an average of 30 students per class.
Then there is Arts Foundations for grades 11 & 12.
Next semester I have the same courses, which is alright by me.
Classs are all in my studio and my office is conveniently just around the corner.  Very quiet up here unlike the other departments where offices are filled with teachers.  In my area, its just me, the other teachers in my departments are spread out a bit in different offices.
I've had both the informal and formal observations forced upon me by the school, with one more unfortunately in March.  The vice-principal came in a couple of times; he has given me good reports, but I still don't like being judged!   I hate being judged and am quite upset by this lack of trust.  Have I not successfully already proven myself over and over again through teacher training and the practicuum?  Does this kind of stupidity happen to doctors, nurses, dentists, lawyers on a regular basis???
This term I've organized my individual teaching into their own folders, which allows me to keep better track of where I am in the semester and insures I'm providing the same knowledge and skills practice to all grades.
I try to have the following components in each topic folder:  Lesson plan with PLOs, student hand-out(s) with rubric, Ppt, and at least one short video.
I thought it would be common sense that when students have a grading rubric right before their eyes, right in their own hands, they would all be able to score an A - not so.  Anyway, I'm endeavouring to be as explicit as I can and reinforce the materials by repeating several times orally and visually.  But it doesn't matter how hard I work, there always are some who don't listen.  It isn't the language that is a barrier, its sheer laziness and not attaching much significance to the class!
Reflecting back upon the semester some questions come to mind.
How do I keep students engaged if they finish their assignment early?
Should I let them always select their own group partners, or randomly assign them myself?
Should I let them keep their cellphones or collect them at the beginning of each class?
Should I have vocabulary dedicated quizzes or just keep them within main quizzes and the midterm?
Should I give exams & quizzes?
Anyway, must finish marking and entering in grades and get ready for the next semester, hopefully I will be able to incorporate what I've learned this semester and continue to learn along the path of a teaching career.
On a slightly different tangent, I'm also slotted in to teach at China's premier photography centre:  Three Shadows in the Beijing art district later this year, something I look forward to.


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