Let's face it, there are times in every tired Tefler's life when we feel like our career-choice, taken after nine pints of Old Speckled Hen at a mate's birthday party, was approved by Old Nick and has been steered by the God of Bad Ideas Gone Wronger. Take today, for example, when I realised that I had been given probably the worst class in the whole fuggin' educational establishment.
What I usually do in such circumstances is turn to a particular website that offers me hours of hoot-filled laughter and pants-wetting entertainment - Humanistic Language Teaching. And, I'm glad to say, my explorations today have been no disappointment, unearthing several gems of methodological madness, a comical cavern of truly Herculean proportions.
For example, take a look at some of these fruitcake-inspired "practical activities" below, and ask yourself, honestly: "Would my wife/husband/pet dog/conscience seriously let me do that in a class full of (presumably consenting) adults?". Consider your respones to these VERY carefully!
1. Hugging as a warmer exercise
Although officially billed as a "warm-up exercise", this could well set the mercury rising to uncontrollable levels. Here's what the author claims about groping your classmates.
I use it with a background of classical baroque music and encourage the students as they listen to show their emotions in a meaningful way by giving a hug to the person they feel friendship or sympathy with.
Here, hang on - can the teacher play this game too? I might have 'feelings' towards certain class members too, y'know. And what if I prefer Metallica to baroque?
Sometimes the whole class ends up being hugs and kisses and this kind of activities are scientifically proved to be a good way of relaxation as the body releases substances called endorphins which enables the child to be more active for the English class.
Mmm, I rather think a few more body substances might get released here, as Paco and Elena fall to the floor, nervously fumbling with each other's underwear. And sometimes it ends up in a class orgy? My Christ, learning was never like this when I was a schoolkid! How different my life could have been if I had ever gotten the chance to 'show my emotions' to that horny piece in the front row...
2. Classroom library
Now, this is a bit more like it. After the students have had their fun stroking each other's genitalia, they then get to (a) go to the library to choose a book, and then (b) fuck off and read it somewhere else. Excellent! I can then stay in the classroom and read my copy of Nuts in peace.
Some students go out to the school gardens and lie down on the grass, others bring a pillow from home and make like a comfortable bed in the middle of the class, or others just sit at the library seats. The aim is to make the reading of English comfortable and creating a home environment. The result is that the material learnt or read by the student is later better produced orally or written as he/she was relaxed when the child was dealing with it.
Fuck me, he's at it again! Making a bed in class, talking of 'orally produced material', and such - who is this perverted teacher?! Where did he get his Tefl certificate - at the Aphrodite Teacher Training Centre!? Is he sponsored by Durex??
3. Free choice project
Right, let's see what our libertarian language teacher gets up to here, shall we?
In my opinion students should never be obliged to do anything they don’t want to do.
I'm with you there, mate. Should apply to the teacher too, though, don't you think? I mean, sometimes I just don't want to teach a room full of spotty teenage herberts.
That’s why I choose a project in which they have to work as a group they always have to choose the topic they want to talk about, and the most important thing, being interested in them so they can show interest when they talk about it for the rest of the class.
Mmm, a bit underwhelming that one, I reckon. Hardly as ground-breaking as the class orgy, is it? Let's move on.
4. Role play
Ah, a good ole role-play. Can't go wrong there, can we.
Role-plays are very important to break-up with the barrier of traditional sexism education and the intolerance for people who have chosen a different sexual identity from mainstream society.
You what?!? "... people who have chosen a different sexual identity from mainstream society" - what the fuck's all that supposed to mean? Ooh dear, suddenly I think I'm coming over all queer...
In some of my role-play activities men become women and women become men.
So now it's gender-reassignation, is it? You'll be in big trouble mate! Especially if you teach at The School of the Immaculate Conception, or Our Lady of the HolyCross . It was never like this in my day...
... and with low primary levels I have boys impersonating princesses and girls impersonating traditional male roles.
Jesus, Mary and fuckin' Joseph - young boys in drag and butch girlies!! This'll never get past the Director of Studies - never!!
Oh Lord, ... it's gonna get worse, I can feel it in my bones!!!
5. Fairy tale transformation
You just knew this one was coming, didn't you? After classroom orgies and transvestism, we all get to turn into fuckin' fairies! Oh, the shame, the shame...
I have done this activity with primary students, often suggesting giving an alternative ending to a fairy-tale and the results have been more than successful. Many of them composed their own creations with lovely pictures on them and later invited the parents to visit our own personal private classroom library and they were delighted with the results.
Jeez, it seems he's come to his senses at last! I just hope the parents didn't get to see the class warmer and the cross-dressing, though!