Sheep are scary too. Apparently.
Last year, I blogged about Assumptions Not to Make in the English as an Additional Language Classroom. I had four assumptions not to make.
1: Don’t assume that students have had the same access to physical development programs as in your own country.
2: Don’t assume that students will correctly colour in the flag of your country.
3: Don’t assume that copying is easy.
4: Don’t assume a student knows how to use a scrapbook.
It’s time to add another assumption not to make.
Don’t assume that all students have had the same exposures to experiences that most students in your country would have had.
We went on an excursion to a farm in Melbourne last week. It was raining and pretty cold being the end of winter (and Melbourne doesn’t really warm up until late Spring). My students didn’t like the mud… we had told them to wear old shoes or gumboots. Some of my students couldn’t cope with the ‘dirtiness’ of the shed where we ate our picnic lunch.
Whilst some of my students loved the guinea pigs, I had a few who were petrified of them. The guinea pigs were brought out on small baskets, no doubt to prevent the students getting ‘weed on’. The farmer explained what the students needed to do and a couple of my students couldn’t cope.
When we went off to the sheep pen, the farmer fed the sheep and most of my students milled around the sheep as they got stuck into their feed. Then I heard from one of my students – ‘Mrs Guscott! Look at Arman!’* I turned around and Arman and his friend were standing just inside the paddock. Arman had the most petrified look on his face that I had ever seen on one of my students and he was shaking. The sheep were nowhere near him. Most Aussie kids have had exposure to animals somewhere along the way in their growing up or schooling time.
I’m obviously still learning.
Source: S Guscott. Who wouldn’t like to get every last morsel of food at times?
If you teach students from other backgrounds, what would you add to the list of assumptions not to make?
Featured Image: S Guscott
*Student name has been changed for privacy.