The job training process is pretty much all about the observations of classes. The Aussies who developed the program think it's super important to do things a certain way which isn't a problem with me. The different grades aren't split up by age but rather by ability which is so much better. The lowest grade is about building vocabulary and getting them used to English words and comfortable in the school. The next level is about the letters, the sounds they make, and identifying first sounds in words. Next is identifying all sounds and blending them as well as segmenting words into their individual sounds. The next level is the one where they finally do some reading. So far I've observed only 1 of the advanced levels and several of the earlier ones. The early ones are great with plenty of games and activities. The one with the reading is the most important one and the one where they make the most progress but it doesn't leave much time for games and the students can get pretty restless. They're working on ways of integrating games but the ones who developed the program are hesitant to alter anything just because it has proven so effective already. One thing that is so so great is the names some of the children have. Today I sat in a class of 4 students where 3 of them were named Nom. There's a lot of funny/weird names but my faves so far have to be Ice, Korn, Earth, and Santa
My training was almost all day today and yesterday. I Can Read is a private institution with classes once a week so weekends are the busiest days (also almost impossible to take weekends off! so if you're planning anything, let me know as soon as you can so I can see about a day or two off) Now I have all week off until next Saturday when I'll be doing more observations at the Sathorn offices. I had been traveling to the main office in Pinklao which is quite a ride and to have it be that much closer would be awesome. Pinklao is great though because the offices are in a tower full of offices that rises up off the top of a mall. I've been hitting up the food court for lunch each day then hitting the arcade. Winning eleven is huge here and eventhough there's 10 or 12 tv's to play it on, there's usually a line. They also have guitar hero! There's something very cool about playing guitar hero in a suit while little kids look on with reverence.
There was something truly extraordinary that happened to me on Saturday at Pinklao. I was with my roommate Ryan (who also got a call from I Can Read and will be working in their Bang Na office!) and we were heading back to the elevator after lunch. All of a sudden, from out of this dark hallway walks a giant wolfman wearing gladiator armor and wielding medieval weapons (This is true). He was followed by other similar creatures who were clearly all in league together as well as five others who were unmistakeably dressed as a form of power rangers. They were on their way to some event upstairs and they had people up ahead clearing the way and making sure they were on the next elevator. I leaned in to Ryan and said "There's no way I'm not getting on that elevator." When the doors opened, the wolfman was perched ready to scare the unsuspecting people waiting to get off which was good for a laugh. The offices there are pretty busy so there's was a large crowd waiting for the elevators. The trainers waved the power rangers and monster men onto the elevator which pretty much filled it all the way up. There were a few people in front of me who were perfectly fine with waiting for the next one and missing this golden opportunity. I politely moved past them and found my place on the greatest ride of my life. I was only going 5 floors but the doors opened once before we got there as people waiting to go down stared in wide-eyed wonder at what certainly must've been a sight to behold. I was trying to play it casual and not act like this was in anyway weird but I cracked a smile as the doors shut again. A few floors later and waved them goodbye. For all they had given me, it was the least I could do. The super weird thing is that after I was done with training that day (only like 1.5 hrs after), I went up to the floor 15 (of course I checked where they were headed before I got off) and there was absolutely nothing up there. I checked everywhere. There was only one business that was even open and there was no sign that the characters had ever been there. Weird! It makes this whole experience that much cooler.
So good so good
ps snow pics plz