Good morning Hong Kong. It’s my birthday today.
It was an insanely busy day yesterday. I taught four English classes at a local high school in the Lai King area of Kowloon. My lesson yesterday dealt with “characterization”, and the story we read was about a 200 year old Vampire who longed to be normal again. It was an interesting discussion with Form 1 (6th graders in the US) students about the characteristics of vampires. Apparently there are differences between Chinese and Western vampires.
Back in the Eureka offices I had to put on my manager hat as me and other colleagues talked about how to develop our teachers. We concluded that extraordinary teachers are rare but that at Eureka we should consider baseline expectations about how our teachers should manage their classes. I just thought back to the Bronx in 2003 (my first year of teaching) and how I struggled with classroom management in the beginning. It really is a stance you develop and an attitude. It is hugely important. Just as lawyers have to learn in law school how to “think like a lawyer” teachers develop over time a stance and approach to students.
My day ended with friends taking me out to celebrate at a McDonalds in IFC. They booked the place in advance and about thirty friends came to celebrate my birthday along with other friends with birthdays in November and December.