You arrive at the orphanage for the second day. Paiwan shows you the week's schedule again and gestures at the upper levels of the building. You walk up to the second floor and along the hallway, peeking into the doorless classrooms as you go. You suddenly here your "name" ("You you you!") coming from the class of 12-year-olds you had just passed. You go back to the door that is at the front of the room. The teacher sees you, stops mid-sentence, bows to you, gestures towards his chair, and then walks out of the room, leaving you alone in a room of 30 students with whom you have no shared language.
What would you do?
(For the record, I sang songs with them, read the story of the tortoise and the hare from the English workbook one kid pulled out, and played Blink. It was the hardest 90 minutes of teaching in my life and I did a rather crappy job by my standards. Even trying to come up with songs led to me staring blankly into space, keenly aware of how rapidly I was losing them. If you can think of songs with very simple, repetitive lyrics, please put them in the comments for future teaching emergencies! We did "Old McDonald" the Hokey Pokey, "Head Shoulders Knees and Toes" and I tried "Once there was a Snowman," but ran into problems while trying to explain what a snowman was. They did like the "Baby Jaws" song, though.)