I don’t think I ever had a clear idea of what the classroom would be like when I signed up to assistant teach at BRL, but whatever I imagined definitely did not compare to my real first day in class. Maybe I pictured a more serious environment, more silence because there was a language barrier and such a variety of different walks of life in one room.
This is not the case at all.
In fact, the thing that I found most surprising from the very moment I walked in the door was the amount of giggling and goofing around that goes on in there. Of course there’s always hard work going on, but that does not stop our teachers from making it as entertaining as possible.
Slapstick humor must be a common denominator across the many different cultures we have here, because it had the entire class chuckling that period. The teacher, Ramey, walked around the room pretending to pull his hamstrings and stub his toes until he had found some way to hurt everything from head to toe. This was to help the learners remember parts of the body, but I mostly just remember a concerned student yelling, “Teacher you’re going to hurt your whole body!”
The learners find plenty of other little things to laugh about too. While cutting out magazine clippings we laughed at cheesy perfume advertisements and the ridiculous celebrity outfits. Apparently good taste transcends culture too.
Luckily the real experience in the classroom is far better than what I had imagined. I look forward to seeing the giggling learners and finding goofy new ways to communicate every day.