Saturday, May 03, 2008

Mini Graduation

Since starting this job I've taught a variety of the students in the school. This is similar to last year when I taught almost every student in the school at one time or another. When I started I was teaching every student in A Level (our school has 2 levels, A and B where A is lower). This continued for two months and then we hired more teachers and received more students so I was split and was teaching A1 and A3 and the other teacher was teaching A2 and A4. Then Screen English class started and I was assigned the Screen classes that the B Level students attend, therefore, getting to know a number of B Level kids.

Anyway, I am getting off topic, the school works on a 4 month rotation for kids that attend 3x a week (MWF) and a 5 month rotation for kids that attend twice a week (TTh). Well it's May and therefore it's been 4 months at this job which means that my A1 class and A3 class are moving up to the next level. Carter commented that I don't really post much about my students and that's true. This year it's just different. The atmosphere is less open and so I feel a bit nervous taking class time to take a picture or about posting the kids pictures. I did take a couple of the two classes that moved up though.

Meet my former A3 kids. From left to right: Greg, Kevin, David and Michael. One boy (Ryan) was missing this day and there used to a be a girl in that class but she recently dropped out because the school wasn't going to let her go to A4 (she's younger and just wasn't at the skill level yet). This is one of my favorite classes actually. The boys are really bright and funny and all have good personalities and senses of humor. Greg is the shy one (you can probably tell from the picture and his body language), Kevin is a smooth talker and really makes me laugh, David is clever and is the best Zolaman cartoon artist ever- he always illustrates his writing assignments and I love it. Michael may be the smallest but he is the brain in the class. He always understands my jokes and has a devious streak. He also tells me the most hilarious stories- like the one about his friend that peed his pants or about another student's mom yelling at a foreigner on the subway for spilling their coffee and then the foreigner coming back with "ajumma". Hysterical!

Oh, one quick story about Kevin, just the other day he decided to make himself some tea (we have tea and coffee at the front desk for mom, teachers, etc) and he dropped the tea bag on the desk. I distinctly heard him exclaim, "Shit!". I was like, "What did you say Kevin!?!?". He looked so shocked and started fumbling on his words. It was obvious I'd heard correctly. I asked him where he heard the word and he just kept repeating, "Sorry Teacher, Sorry Teacher". Lucky for him I thought it was kind of funny since he probably has been saying it around his parents and other adults and they have no idea what he's saying. I reminded him that I speak English. ^^ Anyway, now these kids are in A4 and I will miss them. They still say hi to me in the hall though.

My other class was A1: Shine (yeah, I have no idea why he chose this as his English name), Peter, Brian, Jane and Ellen. They actually didn't move Shine up because he started later but I'm currently lobbying for him to be placed in A2 with the other kids because he's ready and really smart. I have to be honest, I've had the most behavior issues with these kids, probably because they are younger and lower level. So sometimes I have to be the heavy but it's worked out okay and I will miss teaching them too. They've come a long way since their first day. Ellen is always really sweet and erases my board for me and Jane somehow got my hand phone number and called me a few times (but didn't reveal who she was so I had to grill all my classes to find the culprit). It is possible that I will teach them again if they graduate to A3 in four months.

So there you have it, I'm not teaching robots after all. There are real children and they are (for the most part) incredibly cute, sweet and smart. With the leveling up I've also been feeling a bit like a rock star because my old A2 kids were so excited about having me teach them again and were counting down the days. And my old A4 class was excited about going to B1 since they all planned to take my Screen Class. On Friday I received some cookies and crackers and, get this, a homemade hamburger with a can of coke. I wish I had taken a picture but I only thought about that after I had devoured the whole thing. It was sooo good!


Carter said...

Oh my goodness, the kids are so adorable!!!!

Honestly, in my mind, you were teaching surly 18 year old teenagers who were getting ready for their military duty. I mean, all the talk about smackdowns and stuff... the mind does wander...

ambearo said...

Hahaha! Well even adorable children need a smackdown or two sometimes!