Wednesday, June 5, 2013

My Students' Best New Inventions

I teach 7th, 10th, 11th and 12th graders in my Advanced English classes.  I also teach 7 hours of general English (all with 7th graders), but I’ve been told not to worry too much about that part of my work.  We’re paid to teach the ones who want to learn English; the others we’re just babysitting.  Hmm… well… I dunno about that, but I’ll focus on what I’m told to do. 

My 12th graders are really bright, but the class is quite serious as this might be the last year of school for many of them.  I’ve got to teach them up to nearly college level English.  We don’t have that much time for fun.  My 11th graders, well, I’m working on them.  There is sort of a bad attitude in the whole classroom.  Frankly, with my 7th graders, I want to pull my hair out sometimes.  I’ve yet to win them over either, but I will do so.  In my first three weeks here, I have yet to bring out my ‘big guns’, i.e., brought the ukulele to school, but these rowdy boys may be the first to be ukucated.

The 10th graders are a class I really enjoy as their English is pretty good.  I’ve done well in keeping their focus through fun activities while also making sure they learn something every day.  

We started a new module this week with the topic of inventions, and I decided a fun activity would be for them to do a little writing assignment where they have to describe a new invention.  If I had them come up with their own inventions, it would double the time it would take to do the assignment as it would take them 20 minutes just to think of something.  So, I came up with some silly ideas for new inventions and had them take a crack at describing and drawing them.

The results were just wonderful.  I’ve laughed so hard looking at some of these (which they did in pairs).  The kids had fun too and gained valuable experience in writing English and speaking it (I watched which of the pair did the actual writing and had the other one come up and read it).  I wanted to share.

I joked with my Thai teaching assistant that this first invention may one day replace her.  I’m not sure if that is a teachers’ cane…err… pointer.. or a sword.  Look out for ‘The Teaching Robot’.

Now this next one is something that I’m pretty sure already exists in the current trend towards wearable technology.  Me, I haven’t worn a watch since I got a cel phone (that changed when I came to Thailand and I didn’t have a cel phone for my first month).  This “Camera Watch” is something I would definitely want one of…

There’s player pianos… Why not an “Automatic Guitar”?

This was my favorite one.  If you care for your feline, buy it what every cat wants and needs:  Wings For Cats. 

I like being a teacher. 


  1. Good work. I bet that class went very quickly for you and the student.

  2. This was a great post, more like these please. Love to see the kids work. I just started following your blog and really look forward to it. It looks like you are enjoying your great adventure.

  3. I love it. Was very surprised by the spelling "crever." I suppose ZI should not have been. Wish you had been my teacher That exercise sounds like so much fun.


  4. wow this looks like fun! i have to say that i'm impressed that you thought about giving them the inventions, since the whole purpose of the exercise was to practice english - well done! thanks for sharing. it helps me feel a little close to the place i love.

  5. Very amusing inventions. I cannot choose one as the best. The watch with the destroying properties is a must have. Guitar looks funky, they will have to be introduced to your ukelele!

  6. For only 100,000,000 dollars my cat can escape from dogs and catch birds! Truly remarkable. You should get a patent on these inventions before these kids run off with their genius ideas and become millionaires.


Discovering Northwest Myanmar 16: Kataung to Mandalay

I call them "Burmese Doughnuts". They've got another name, but essentially, it's fried bread. The three-week adventur...