Monday, February 13, 2012

Don't Touch My M(o)ustache

As much as possible, I try to keep my classes flexible enough that we can wander off just a bit down a path where my students have a question. (Not all ALTs are lucky enough to have the kind of freedom I have. I'm very free. And very lucky. Also, my students love my co-teacher, and he has facial hair. Hold tight on that one.) Sometimes this leads to things like me doing the moonwalk in class or doing one of my notoriously bad stick-people-esque drawings on the board in order to illustrate some point (I am an AMAZING artist of really terribly drawn stick people. And country shapes that few people can recognize.).

It can be hard to capture the attention of a room full of junior high kids who would probably rather be doing anything other than studying English, so few things make my day more than when I collect papers and see that someone has paid attention enough to have taken notes (!) about what I said when they didn't have to. It's rare, and I pause to smile every single time it happens. It's like getting a secret message from a student saying, "hey, don't tell anyone or betray all of that non-responsive blank staring I did, but, yes, I did hear you. And then I wrote it down, even!" Even better, though, is if a student has re-drawn my stick person but then added some details, like maybe a beret. (I'd supplied the beard and mustache when they'd asked how to say them in English. Today's target grammar was "how to ~," and, yes, I deliberately baited them to ask, using real English for something they really wanted to know, in real life.)

Side note. In Japanese, "you're welcome" is どういたしまして (do-u-i-ta-shi-ma-shi-te), which sounds kind of like doe-ee-tah-she-mah-she-tay, which many people joke about sounding an awful lot like "don't touch my mustache." Or, moustache, if you are British English inclined.
29/366 - Dear Maggie, I heard you. Mustache. Beard. Got it. From, A Student.


  1. HA. I love that. I love when students are listening. This year, I don't have many.

  2. Your mustachioed stick figure is better than anything I could draw. Fun teachers are always the best ones, you get and keep the students' attention because you make learning fun. Good job!

  3. You sound like such an awesome teacher Maggie! Your students are lucky!!


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