Read the text.
HOW ABOUT BEING A TEACHER?
Some years ago, young
people in the USA didn’t want to be teachers because of poor pay and
even less respect. Government and the public openly questioned
teachers’ competency. Kids in school were angry, even violent.
Lots of school teachers quit the profession within the first year.
Many of these problems
remain now. But nevertheless, there are some changes. Teaching is
back. Salaries now are decent or better in most places.
Teachers say they feel more respect. Why is it so?
Today, education is a top
priority in the USA. In the 1980s, people wanted to go into
professions to make money. In the ‘90s, they are seeing to return to other
values. People want to do something to make a difference in
society. Teachers can do that. More and more young people enter teachers
colleges. They say, “ If we can change a person’s life for the better, our
lives will be complete.” These days not only young people but also
their grandparents are looking for a new life after retiring and want
to be at school. These people are called career-switches. They are
retired Military personnel, police officers, people who were selling
insurance all their lives and other people who want to change their job.
Of course, they are taught special education programs before going to school
to instruct children.
Is it an easy job to be a
teacher? Well... Firstly, teachers are supposed not only to teach
just subject matter. They have to reach students’ hearts, to take a real
interest in all their students. A caring attitude is perhaps the most
important quality a teacher can possess. It is also important
to give information, to develop an interest in learning and to encourage
students. Positive expectation for what the kids can do is very important
too. Communication between the home and the school can really help a
teacher to understand the students better.
Secondly, new teachers spend much time on discipline problems. For some
teachers the first weeks are just horrible! But kids need someone to
guide them. Now in the USA there are about 150 programs that help young
people and career-switches to become certified teachers.
Ex.1. Do you know all the
underlined words and phrases?
If not, make your own
vocabulary. Use these new words in your own sentences.
This text above tells you how to be a teacher in the USA. What about your
1. Is the profession of a
teacher popular? Why is it so?
profession is underpaid, isn’t it?
3. Do many
teachers working at your school quit within a year?
4. Is education a
top priority in your country?
5. Are there many
high school students interested in teaching?
6. Do you agree
that only idealists think they can change a person’s life for the better?
7. Are there
career-switches in your country?
8. Are you sure
that they can make a difference in your society?
9. Is teaching a
10. What is the
most difficult problem for the teachers working at your school?
- to keep discipline
- to be the teacher whose
lessons you are eager to attend
- to teach smart students
- to be good friends with
- to have 6 or more
lessons every day six days a week
- to encourage the
- to communicate between
the home and the school
- to reach the students’
- no problem
11. Would you like
to be a teacher? Whatever your answer is share your thoughts with your
Ex.3. How well do you know
Make your predictions
about the subjects below. When everyone in class has finished predicting,
ask your teacher to share her (his) answers. Who was the best predictor?
TEACHER’S PET SUBJECTS
Movie(of all time)
Kind of car
Kind of music
Subject in school
Things to do at
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Read this text and discuss
the problem. Some questions below will help you.
Teachers of Iowa say violent
behavior of students and disrespect are widespread in Iowa (USA) classrooms.
They also say that parents should take a bigger role in preventing students’
antisocial actions. This problem was discussed at a school-violence
conference on May 10, 2000 in Des Moines. To overcome this situation,
teachers need more parents to be involved. Also, teachers say that the key
is finding the root of behavior rather than simply punishing students. More
than half of the youths arrested in Des Moines in 1998 tested positive for
drugs or alcohol. Iowa’s drug treatment facilities for youths have massive
Children should talk to
their parents about being bullied* or wanting to harm others at
school. Unfortunately, such communication rarely happens. Some students say
they would be ashamed. Others say their parents don’t want to admit their
children need help.
In Des Moines there are some
programs for at-risk youths, which help turn their lives around. The problem
has been raised and stressed which is very important and which is a good
start. Don’t be complacent** that it can’t happen in your city or
your school. It’s a mistake. Be involved in preventing the problem. And help
your parents to be involved.
Do you have difficulties
this problem of student violent behavior exist at your school?
-You feel comfortable at
your school, don’t you? If not, can you share why?
-Are you often bullied by
your mates or just other students?
-Do you think that your
teachers are picking on you?
-You don’t even think
about offending your classmates or those who are younger than you are, do
-You tell your parents
about your problems, don’t you?
-Do you discuss the school
rules with your parents?
-Your parents get an idea
of what is going on at your school, don’t they?
(The dates of school
vacations, school holidays, parent-teacher conferences)
-Do your parents attend
open hours, which are held every month at your school?
* to bully -
** complacent -
Ex.4. Analyzing Education.
(Work in your exercise books)
At school, you not only
learn different subjects but social behavior as well. Along with your
family, schools teach society’s values, norms, and roles.
Think about your own
school. In the left column below, list values that you think your
school teaches you both directly and indirectly. (Values are
beliefs about what is important and good. For example, freedom, hard work,
In the middle column, list
the norms of behavior at your school. (Norms are rules that
govern behavior. For example, a formal list of rules about appropriate and
expected behavior in classroom.)
In the right column, list
the roles found at your school. (Roles are behaviors expected
of persons who occupy particular positions. For example, teachers, students,
coach, principal, nurses, chef...)
Time for fun.
In America, kids like to
make up stories about their teachers and principals.
Read and enjoy these two
The Gym Teacher from Black
are getting a new gym teacher this year. His name is Mr. Green! The kids say
he’s big, he’s mean, he’s rarely seen. They say he’s very hairy. His
nickname is COACHKONG and no one has actually heard him speak any words. He
just blows his whistle a lot. They say he has a little office full of balls
and clubs and tires. The big kids say he makes you run a lot. First a lap
around the gym. Then a lap around the school. Then a lap around the world!
Then he gives you fitness tests. You have to pickup truck over your head
before the semester ends. I guess that’s why they call it a “pickup” truck.
You spend a lot of time
getting in shape. He makes you do push-ups, pull-ups, chin-ups, and sit-ups.
But most of the kids just do thrown-ups!
Then you have to climb the
rope. If you don’t reach the top, he sets the bottom on fire! They say there
are still kids up in the ceiling of the gym! If you don’t pass the fitness
test, your body is donated to science!
Then there is the posture
test. If you don’t pass that, he ties you between two boards. But there are
games too. He makes you play Dodge ball... with his truck. And Tag with
Crazy Glue... And baseball with real bats! He makes you do handstands,
headstands, and nosestands.
Oh, oh, there’s his
whistle! I’d rather go line up.
“Hi, kids. I’m Mr. Green,
your new gym teacher.” I can’t believe it! He’s a regular guy!
“Let’s play basketball,”
says Mr. Green. We do, and I score 2 baskets. This is great! I’m going to
The Principal from Black
the third day of school. I’ve been sent to the principal’s office. What a
I hear the Principal, Mrs.
Green, is a real monster! Kids go to her office and never come back. The
waiting room is supposed to be filled with bones and skeletons. Doris Foodle
was sent there for chewing gum. They say her skeleton still has a bubble in
walk in. I take a seat. The rug is red. That’s the blood won’t show. I hear
she uses tall kids as coat racks. The short kids she feeds for her pet
alligator. The fat ones she uses as paperweight. The thin ones she uses as
bookmarks. I’m too young to be a bookmark! If you are lucky, you get put in
“the cages.” She has them under her desk. If you are really lucky, you get
sent home in chains. But most kids she keeps for her experiments. Derek
Bloom was sent here yesterday. They say he wound up with the head of a dog!
They say Freddy Smith has the feet of a chicken. And Eric Porter the hands
of a hamster. I am too good-looking to have the ears of a rabbit!
And what I did was I
snatched Mrs. Jones’ wig.
It’s very quiet today.
Usually, they say, there’s a lot of screaming. Maybe she is in a good
mood... Even if I survive, this will affect my whole life! Oh, oh, there’s a
shadow at the glass. Now I’m in the jaws of fate. The door slowly opens...
There is a pretty woman
She is a master of disguise.
“Come in, Hubie.” I go in.
She closes the door behind me. I look around. There is only the coat rack.
It doesn’t look like anyone I know. I look around for the alligator. There’s
only a turtle. It looks like Randy Potts.
“Now,” says Mrs. Green,
“Are we having a little trouble in class?”
“Well,” say I, “I was
sweeping up the room and by accident Mrs. Jones’s wig got caught the broom
“Well, we’ll have to
apologize, won’t we?”
“Yes, we will.”
“And next time we have to
be more careful.”
“Yes, we will! Yes, we
“Now run along.”
“Is that all???”
“Close the door.”
Boy was I lucky!
Those flowers on her desk
were probably poisonous. Just one whiff and you would turn purple and die.
Fortunately I held my breath. I went into her cave and I have returned
without the ears of a rabbit! I have to sweep her office sometime and see if
she wears a wig!
an unpleasant or
disappointing event or situation (slang)
(By Mike Thaller.
Scholastic. New York, 1994)
Let’s discuss this very
important issue: how to select the right clothes to wear.
Read what some students
and the author think about this, and then say what you think.
What Do You
Think of Dress Codes for School?
I thought that was something that died 20 ears ago. And I thought everybody
knew by now that it’s what inside a person that counts, not how he’s
dressed. Our school recently adopted a dress code. I was sure they
couldn’t be serious - just something to appease parents and the
school board. So I ignored it, of course. The upshot was that
when I came to school as usual in my fatigues and T-shirt I was
thrown out of class! Can you imagine? In this day and age!!!
2. I like to present a
good appearance. So I spend a lot of time in the morning on make up, and
dress up. I wear designer dresses and use jewelry for accent purposes. The
other day I chose a set of bracelets to highlight a new outfit. My teacher
told me to get rid of the awful clank, and while I was at it to wash
my face. I was never so mortified! They want you to dress nicely for
school, and when you do that’s what you get.
3. I earn pretty good
money after school, so I can buy a lot of my own clothes. What I buy is the
latest. I mean up-to-the minute. I watch men’s fashions in the magazines and
newspapers, and I’m always the first in school to wear what’s hot in the
largest cities of my country and abroad. And what do I get for my trouble?
Ridicule! Not just other kids make fun of my clothes, but teachers
too! They are worse than the kids are. I suppose it’s because they grew up
in the 50s and 60s when anything went. Do they want me to dress like a
slob in old fatigues and a greasy T-shirt?
Do you want to know the
author’s opinion? Here it is.
Selecting the right
clothes to wear isn’t easy. It is to be learned just as you learn most other
things. And that’s one of the reasons behind dress codes at school - to help
teach you what is appropriate in your work place. Very often people try to
defend themselves in order to excuse inappropriate way of dressing. They
It doesn’t matter how you
I dress to be comfortable...
You can’t tell a book by
I dare to be different...
and so on.
The word appropriate
is a key word for choosing an outfit. You wouldn’t crawl under the
car in a good sweater and slacks, and you shouldn’t wear greasy fatigues to
school. Clanking bracelets and dramatic makeup may work well at a party, but
they are not good for the work place - school, that is.
And one more. Most fashion
fads that work well and make splash in big cities never make it in
the rest of the country.
Clean, neat, appropriate.
Those are the buzz words for the successful dressing. If your outfit
is all of these, you’ll rarely have to worry about dress codes, or about
what other people think.
Ex.1. Be sure that you know
all the underlined words in the text above:
- a set of rules;
- to make fun of smth. or smb.; to humiliate;
- to calm;
(sl.) - an awkward, clumsy man;
- school council;
- set of clothes;
- sharp metallic sound;
- to put to shame, to embarrass
word - popular word or phrase
Ex.2.Answer the questions.
1. What do you think of
having a dress code at school?
Is it good or bad to
have a dress code at school?
Do you have a dress
code at your school?
2. Do you agree that
selecting the right clothes is to be learned?
3. What are your favorite
4. Who teaches you to
select the right clothes to wear to school, to parties, to go camping and so
5. Where do you buy your
6. Are your clothes
expensive or cheap?
7. It is easy to find
decent clothes that fit you, isn’t it?
8. Do you think it is a
good idea to have clothes that do not need ironing?
9. Why do many kids and
adults like clothing with pockets?
What about you?