Fish out of Water, by Sharai D. Kirk


The English students at Instituto Estelar Bilingüe are amazing. I am pretty sure that most people think teachers have a very difficult job, and sometimes that is very true. Some students can be rude or offensive, unable to learn, or even unwilling to learn. However, for the last 8 months I have been blessed with nothing but fun, energetic students who are eager to learn and experts at making my job more entertaining than I ever thought it could be.

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Sharai’s English class doing a fun review activity!

Last Friday night I taught my final class with my intermediate students that I have been with since October. They had a quiz to take, so on Wednesday I assigned them homework that made them do more than just study – they needed to prepare to be the teacher for five minutes by briefly explaining one of the grammar topics with examples and a small activity to practice the concept. Sometimes teaching is the best way to learn something, so I felt confident that even if their activities were short, small, or a repeat of one of mine, they would still be studying for the quiz in a fun, challenging manner.

But, once again, my students blew me out of the water (literally, you will see). They all had fantastic explanations, examples, and games to share with their classmates. We did a question-answer matching activity on the board, a dice competition game, a fill-in-the-blank race, a one-word-at-a-time sentence creating game where the person who messes up must make their craziest funny face, and more. But my favorite activity was at the end.

My friend and student, Carolina, took the stage to present her activity. She briefly taught the use of the past continuous and the past simple which we had learned in class. Then she explained the game, Charades, for anyone who had never played. She handed everyone a slip of paper on which she had written some crazy, bizarre, and hilarious sentences using these grammar concepts. One by one, each student went to the front to act out the ridiculous situations that she had invented.

Unfortunately, I didn’t catch all of them on tape, but my class instantly turned into a comedy show as my students began doing things like karate while taking selfies, cooking hamburgers when a giraffe entered the kitchen, dealing with constipation when their mother brought them papaya, dancing like Brittney Spears as their boyfriend pouted at the table, dreaming of being a fat kangaroo, and pretending to be a fish out of water as someone laughs hysterically (I got the honor of doing this one). It was one of the funniest things I have ever seen and half the class was crying from laughing so hard. I couldn’t have asked for a better last class.

To see a few on video, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vgp4Z9llbWw&edit=vd

The students at this school are amazing. I have loved every minute of my job at Instituto Estelar Bilingue and I am grateful that the silly actors in this video are also my friends. Special thanks to all my students who have made my time in Costa Rica wonderful!

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4 responses to “Fish out of Water, by Sharai D. Kirk

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