Open Class? More Like Horror Class!
My title, unfortunately, doesn't work very well as a joke when translated into English, as 공개수업 means "open class" while "공포수업" means "horror class". Poorly translated puns notwithstanding, what is open class? It's basically a sort of open house, a chance for parents to observe teachers and students in their natural habitats. In a word, it's stressful. In two words, it's very stressful.
I'm not sure why, but somehow the addition of just a few new faces sitting at the back of my classroom makes me forget how to put words into normal human sentences. I feel like Jack Donaghy in the 30 Rock episode where he has to act on live television: what do I do with my hands? Can I have two coffee cups? Where do my hands normally go when I'm standing?
Last year, my open class was a disaster. The timing of the event and my school schedule came together to create the perfect storm of bad teaching. Firstly, I was debuting a new lesson, something I'd never tried before that was a bit...ambitious. Secondly, the class that fell on third period on that Wednesday was bad. Super bad. Like, no matter what I did, this class was always a struggle. Needless to say, I was not very satisfied with my performance. I know I did my best, but I can imagine that a parent, seeing only those 45 minutes of struggle and mess, wouldn't come away with a very good impression of my teaching ability.
So, this year, I was determined to do better. Fortunately, the timing worked in my favor this time, meaning that the class scheduled to be the open class is one of my best, and the lesson is something I did last year, so I knew what kind of challenges to expect and how to counter them. If last year was a perfect storm of bad, this year was a perfect storm of good luck. Not sure if that metaphor works, but let's just go with it.
It was a pretty simple lesson, but sometimes simple is better, especially when you have 8 scary moms watching your every move and taking notes. We started with some L/R minimal pairs practice, and as I had the students repeat the words after me, I'm pretty sure I heard some parents joining in. Then we practiced "I can/I can't" and ended with a bingo-inspired milling activity and question and answer presentations.
All in all, I'm very satisfied with my performance. I feel like it was very representative of my teaching style, and I hope that the parents agreed. I'm not sure how much effect their feedback has on my job prospects, but just in case...rather safe than sorry, right?