International House CELTA: Teaching Practice and Tamarind Candy

I did not sleep much last night. Ale and Jesús stayed up until 3am watching Monty Python and Third Element. This morning I had a chat with Ale.

He said he would be more quiet tonight. He also told me about how he came to Mexico. He said that he is a tattoo artist. One time he drew a tattoo on some guy in Spain who later told him that he would not pay for the tattoo. The guy told him that he would give him a gift instead, but only if he came to Mexico City. Ale got here and found out this guy had bought him all the materials to make a bamboo bicycle. That is what he is doing here and should be finished with the bicycle in three weeks. His next destination will be Cuba. He hopes to hitchhike to Cuba on a boat with his bamboo bike. I could not make up this story if I tried. Hah. I looked up bamboo bicycles on the internet and found out that their frame is much more durable than carbon or metal. What a very interesting life he leads. 🙂 Aside from that, I had a very refreshing HOT shower this morning and I was ready to tackle CELTA Day 2.

In class this morning we discussed receptive skills. This encompasses listening and reading. The opposite of receptive skills are productive skills, like speaking and writing. We participated in many interactive activities in order to learn ways of teaching receptive skills. The whole morning flew by, since the teachers were so engaging. We had to get up multiple times to talk with different partners. We learned how to set up a lesson and how to maintain classroom management.

In the afternoon, we had our first graded teaching lesson. I had to teach active listening skills to 7 students. I put up words on the board, which included personal information about myself.  I gave the students time to talk in pairs and guess why these words were important to me. For example, I had the words “Candice Griep” on the board. I asked the class, “Who is Candice? Is she my sister?  Please write down your prediction.” Afterwords I read a paragraph about myself that revealed all the answers. They had to actively listen and pick out specific information to answer the questions. I also had them complete open-ended questions about the text. The students did a GREAT job! 🙂 I thought things went very well. The four other teachers-in-training also did a fantastic job. We were all able to engage the students and keep them focused on accomplishing the tasks.

On a separate note, I’ve noticed that all the men in Mexico City are very courteous towards women. The men always let the ladies go first into the room and also give them the class handouts first. I have not experienced any cat calling since I have arrived. So awesome! 🙂 Everyone here is very respectful. I heard today that the metro is also divided by gender. This ensures that when the subway is very full of people, no men take advantage of the situation. They even have guards at the entrance to make sure that only women are entering. Very nice. 🙂

After our lesson, we had to watch a video that ended after 8pm. What a long day! I tried some Mexican candy during the last lesson for a sugar energy boost. It is a tamarind flavored candy. Tamarind is considered an Indian date. The taste is bittersweet and spicy.

The candy is called Pelon Pelo Rico. Pelon means “bald” and pelo rico means “full head of hair.” This candy reminds me of a chia pet. You push the gummy tamarind candy upwards and the bald head grows a head of hair, then you eat off the hair. It was very bizarre. The flavor was OK. I don’t think I would have this candy again. :/tumblr_mmtwl0rbyz1rocz98o1_400Now I am home and the boys are watching Beetlejuice. Hopefully I will be able to get more rest tonight. Only 18 more days of CELTA!

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