Sweden Long Days up North

I don’t think I’ve ever had such a long day for a while. Luckily a good night’s sleep set me up for ….

6:30 AM Business Network International Breakfast
Business brain on and a posh breakfast, Great to see everyone so positive and helpful, and they quickly learnt how to use the word “Genki”. I even had someone ask me for a workshop!

9:00 AM First Demo Lesson of the Day
3 and 4 year olds, usually a tough age group to teach. But Good Morning, Left & Right and Do you like..? ( including the game) went perfectly. Amazing.

10:00 AM Second Demo Class 9 and 10 year olds.
Again another age group that can go either way, good or bad, especially in Europe where cheekiness reaches heights unheard of in Asia. But no worries, these were a perfect class, asking tons of questions, being very impressed with my photos of Japan, Hong Kong etc. and they did brilliantly on the What’s your name? and I can do it songs. As this is Sweden, by the time the kids get to this age half the class are fluent and half the class are very good. So rather than the English, the main aim was the same as in native English speaking countries, namely confidence (including eye contact) and the Genki English rules of “I can do it!” and “Try again!

10:45 AM Third Demo Class 7 & 8 year olds
Always the easiest age to teach and apart from a couple of rowdy-ish boys they were perfect as well, with How old are you? + mingle, Under the Sea + Nemo Game (which isn’t pronounced the same in Swedish, but the kids picked up on it eventually!)

11:45 AM Recruitment at the local university

We set up a stall at the local university to try and recruit students to be trained as teachers for the programme. Plus we managed to grab a sandwich to eat.

And we probably should have left it there. But we didn’t and….

2:30 PM Fourth Demo Class – total disaster!
You wouldn’t believe it would you, after 3 perfect lessons. These were 5 and 6 year olds who are usually really easy classes, but they also brought in the 4 and 5 year olds from this morning. Things started OK-ish with Good Morning. Then I figured I’d try something a little more advanced with the new “I like animals” song. And they just didn’t get it! In the song the teacher says “I like kangaroos” and the kids reply “kangaroos?”. But they were so stuck in “repeat after me” mode that that’s all they did! This morning they were fine, but not here. And this was the most important class with parents, a video camera and other teachers there…. So we cut that song short and moved on to something super, super easy i.e. How are you? and the How are you? Monster game. And that didn’t work that will either – which is a first.

So it just goes to show that what I wrote yesterday is so true, some lessons just never go to plan. The 3 classes this morning were honestly perfect, I could have videod them as model classes. But hey, you win some you lose some.

So…

3:30 PM Checking Emails

5:00 PM A BBQ in the Sweden Forest
This was pretty cool. Swedish people may pay a lot of taxes but they do live very, very well. April in the snow covered mountains with the forest behind and the frozen river in front might seem like December, but with a fire burning away and very nice people to talk to it was really, really nice.

9:00 PM Flight to Stockholm
Amazingly efficient. The Arlanda Express to Stockholm is probably the best airport shuttle I’ve been on and the hotel checking was as smooth as good be.

12:30 AM Writing the blog

12: 45 AM I’m off to bed. Good night.

Richard Graham

Hello, I'm Richard Graham. And when I was a kid I found school to be sooooo boring... So I transformed my way of teaching. I listened to what the kids were really wanting to say and taught it in ways they really wanted to learn. The results were magical. So I'm sharing it all with you now...