I met Joe about a month ago when he asked me to sub for Christina’s class one day, and he’s offered me occasional tutoring and substitute gigs since then. Subbing in an American middle school looks like torture, but subbing for Chinese-middle schoolers rocks. Basically I turn up, introduce myself, giggle at a few of the more creative English names, then we chat about iPods and CounterStrike or play some games. This time, he had a class of 10-year-olds, which means more Meg Says and less actual teaching.
“Sure, I’m free.” I said. “What did their regular teacher cover last week?”
“They don’t have a regular teacher.” Joe said.
“The class is in 4 hours and they don’t have a teacher?”
“That’s why I called you,” he said. (Duh! I know the engine’s on fire! That’s why I called a mechanic!)
Good thing I went, though. While I was in the midst of explaining the rules for Verb Charades, I happened to look at the wall behind my students, and noticed something odd with the language poster.
Usually these posters are something like this:
Language centers are full of these posters. A bit of a random assortment, a touch of Chinglish, and some rarely used idioms but nothing memorable. But what caught my attention — and almost stopped my class — was this one: