Saturday, September 28, 2013

An Ode to Tuesday/Thursday Classes

Tuesdays and Thursdays have always been my favorite days of the week. Initially it was because I had a 40 min break between classes those days, but not Mondays, Wednesdays, or Fridays. Then it was because of one single class that made me actually feel like a teacher. And finally it became because of all my classes (plus the break!). I relax much more on these days, and I enjoy my classes, schedule, and kids. It's possible this is due to the fact I only have to deal with the kids two days a week, instead of three. But, I'm going to think positive and say the kids are just awesome these days. So, here it goes...

The past six months, I've had my first period every day of the week, but I decided to include them with Tuesday and Thursday classes. These kids have really tested my patience. When I first started with them, they were only 1 year removed from kindergarten, and you could tell. I had 5 boys that were literally nuts. They both loved and hated each other. The teasing was relentless and I constantly wore myself out trying to control them.

Then we added two more students: another boy, and a lone girl. The girl, Kate, cried the first day she came to class. I would too, if I had to sit with these crazies every day. But, she toughened up and she deals well enough these days.

In July, one student took a month off, and he still hasn't come back to SLP 2 months later. I am not heart-broken because this kid, Benny, was one of the worst. He had ADHD to the extreme, was extremely sensitive, and could never let someone teasing him go unanswered. I literally said a prayer of thanks when I was told he was taking a break.

Another boy is taking a break this month, so his picture will be absent as well. Brian. He was a difficult kid. He really wanted to be a teacher's pet, but if it was possible to get attention from his classmates, he preferred that. So, he was a difficult one to discipline. If I got onto him too much, he would cry and throw things (very bad temper tantrums). But, 5 minutes later, he was the sweetest kid and trying really hard. He had lots of trouble concentrating enough to actually learn anything in class.

The most difficult boy, the origin of all the trouble, was Jin. He teases as much as he breathes and lavishes the attention his antics bring. He will do anything for a laugh. The problem is, he IS smart. He CAN learn. He just has a hard time focusing on anything other than making his classmates laugh. Since Benny and Brian, his two main targets of teasing, have been gone, he has improved a lot. And I've even grown to enjoy him. He IS a funny kid, but needs to learn a balance.

Louis is probably my favorite in this class. He is a perfect blend of silly and hardworking. The problem is, he never really understood phonics. He literally can't sound out words, like AT ALL. So if he doesn't know a word, he just makes one up, usually that doesn't even contain the correct sounds at all. But, he is a sweet, sweet kid.

Daniel is an interesting student. I still don't really know what to make of him. He is Jin's best friend, but also Louis's. He is quiet and flies under the radar, and sometimes he has strokes of intelligence. But he scores very low. He doesn't seem to care to try and learn. He has the worst handwriting I've ever seen. I literally can't read 90% of what he writes.

David is the newest boy to the class. He is very smart and writes very well. His mom speaks English fluently (from what I can tell), because one day I caught him copying into his writing workshop from a paper that was obviously written by someone else. I asked him, "Did mom help you with this?" And he was embarrassed but said yes. I just smiled at him and asked him to write it one more time. I mean, I'm GLAD his mom helps him! Anyway, he is probably the most dependable to finish all his homework and study for his tests.

Kate, like I said, is the only girl. She is painfully shy and even more painfully quiet. When she reads or answers a question, if the class isn't dead silent, you can't hear her. I encourage her to speak up, because she is incredibly bright and intelligent, but it's a battle. She is a wonderful writer and I think she will do well in her future with English.

3SAP Bookclub:

I used to teach this class when they were 2SAP, and there was only 3 (Rachel, Charlotte, and Kelly). Then in February the new school year started and they moved into 3SAP, and I became their bookclub teacher, while another teacher took over their main curriculum. I have really enjoyed teaching a bookclub class. It is fun and there are no tests (yay!).

Rachel is a bright girl. She started SLP a few weeks before I became their teacher. Rachel is a bit of a teacher's pet. She is sweet and usually talks to me outside of class. I even saw her outside her grandmother's apartment in my neighborhood and she looked a bit shell-shocked to see me outside of class. 

Kelly is her best friend, and they go to the same elementary school. Kelly is a little smart-ass most of the time, and is incredibly lazy. She complains about everything and loves to tell me "no" when I ask her to do something. Amazingly, I am quite patient and just tell her to do it again. She is used to me, and me her, so she does it most of the time. 

Charlotte is a wild child. She actually just changed her schedule, so she is no longer in that class, but I included her because she was my student for 95% of the past year. Sometimes she misspells her name, and has a terrible time learning anything new. She always brings snacks and occasionally shares them with me. I actually think she is a bit of a diva. But, she's hilarious in a strange way. She can be difficult, but I have a soft spot for her.

Jasmine is a student I got when I began bookclub with them. She is pretty smart, but sometimes she doesn't do her homework or just doesn't want to do her classwork. At first she was one of the best students, but she has gotten lazy. 

John is the only boy in the class, and I feel for him because of that. But, he is also extremely lazy and has a bad attitude most of the time. So that cancels out my sympathy. Sometimes he has a spurt of caring about class, but mostly I am just reminding him to sit up and not lay his head down. 

New Hi Kids 3:

I began teaching this class in February, and I was sad because I had to leave another New Hi Kids that I really liked in order to teach them. But, they grew on me, especially after a month when the class got cut in half, going from 12 students to 7. They can be painfully shy, but in the past several months, they have gotten used to me and it seems that we have kind of come to an understanding. I will be goofy and entertain them, if they will answer my questions. It works out...

Lily - my favorite and the smartest of the bunch. She could probably move into a higher level, but her best friend is in the class. Lily is sweet as sugar and has a shy smile. She catches on quickly, and I can count on her to answer questions.

Kate - Lily's best friend, and probably the second brightest in the class. This is probably due in part to her proximity to Lily. Basically, I think Lily kind of teaches her under her breath while I'm not looking. Kate is also sweet but doesn't usually volunteer to speak as much as Lily.

Emily - She just joined the class a few months ago, and while she is smart, she sometimes lays her head down, which is frustrating. She also ALWAYS speaks in fragments, instead of full sentences. I hate to correct her but I have to. She works hard.

Tom - You can tell he is a little devil. He is the definition of the word sly. He is quiet but I know he understands a lot. He tries to see what he can get away with (playing or drawing during class, etc), but when I give him a look, he concedes a smile and puts it away.

Nicholas - He is probably Tom's best friend. He also plays with Tom, but he doesn't have even half the comprehension that Tom does. But, he is cute as a button anyway, and I love making him laugh and smile.

Jun - Also very new to class, and not much personality to speak of. Quite shy, like most people in the class. 

Sam - MOST painfully quiet student I've ever had. He lacks so much confidence that even when he has the correct answer written on the paper, when I call on him, he STILL doesn't answer. He just looks at the paper, looks at the board, and looks at me blankly. So frustrating.

Jack - very absent minded. Pretty annoying, really... oops!


Another class I've taught for the past year in its entirety is called 4SAP (they used to be 3SAP, but moved up a number in February). The class is kind of big, but they're really fun kids. They laugh at my impressions and attempts to act out new vocabulary words. They eagerly want to answer questions, they are generally respectful and attentive in class. Of course, like any kids, they're times when they are not as good, but I think I've probably yelled at that class once the whole year. Phenomenal kids.

Ariel - she has made so much progress the past year, and I love to see her smile when she answers a question right. She speaks carefully to make sure she says every word right, and gets so embarrassed when I correct her pronunciation. She always wants to read first, answer questions, and she isn't afraid to tell me she doesn't understand. I love her.

Ellie - might not be the brightest bulb in the classroom, but she tries very hard. She is always happy and bubbly! She bought me a headband for a going-away present and I almost cried. She really gets me! Also, when I bought Rosie (remember back in the day?), she went and got a hedgehog too. She explained to me one day about how she takes her hedgehog on walks with a leash... 

Ryan - smarty pants, loves to "help" (correct) other students. 

Danny - used to be super shy, but has really grown into himself. He is a funny kid, very dedicated and hard working. I think his mom might beat him for bad grades or something...

Erica - super sweet girl, almost the worst pronunciation I've ever heard. She tries though...

Judy - very smart girl as well. She is very shy also, even though she has great pronunciation! She does the Korean style cover-your-mouth-when-saying-something-you-might-say-wrong. She's adorable though.

Sara - she is Louis in 2SAP's sister. She also had pretty terrible pronunciation and reading, but she is also super sweet like her brother. She is buddy-buddy with Judy, but they score on opposite ends of the spectrum.

Sonia - this girl is also very smart. And, she is the only student of mine whose parents are divorced. She doesn't talk about it much (I wouldn't want to either, in Korean society it's like admitting you are a lepper or something), but Cindy (my partner teacher) told me. One time she mentioned she didn't like her holiday because she had no cousins to play with; they were at her other grandmas. :(

Sally - This girl and I have had a few run-ins. She is always talking or playing with her erasers or something. I constantly have to get onto her. But, she is respectful enough. Still, I think neither of us particularly care for the other. She came into the class in February, and it took her a while to get used to me as a teacher.

James - this kid is ridiculous. He is always talking about computer games, movies, or dragons. He is funny, but also a handful trying to deal with in a large class (yes, 10 is large at SLP). 99% of his pictures, he looks like he has a mental illness because he refuses to smile and lets his mouth hang open... crazy kid. I'm lucky I caught this smile!

Leap High 3:

Once again, I've taught these kids for a year. They started out with me barely into the Leap High material, and as of today, they are finished with it. They will be starting a new curriculum with their new teacher next week! I've really enjoyed them, although they can be a bit rowdy.
Peter - he lived in Canada for a year, and he talks about it a lot. Unfortunately, he didn't totally master English in that year, but he is ahead for his age, since he is the only 4th grader among all the other 5th graders. He is a nice kid, but when he talks, he takes forever to explain and my eyes usually glaze over. 

Tom - he was added to our class maybe 4 or 5 months ago, and he is a really funny kid. He talks too much in Korea, and always says "Yes Sir!" to me (to which I respond, "I am not a sir!" and he corrects to "Ma'am!" This is routine now...). He is a fun kid, and is very creative in his writing!
Parker - very deceptively quiet and shy. He is pretty smart! He doesn't speak too much in class, but his speaking tests are always really good. I don't really know too much about him, but he is buddies with another of my students on Monday, Wednesday, Fridays. 

Daniel - this poor kid. His dad died a few years back, and apparently he hasn't been the same. He is suuuuper apathetic to class, but when he is interested in the topic, you can see that he is smart! It's hard because I want to encourage him to study and work hard, because I know he can be great, but I also don't want to push him too hard. He's kind of an exception to most of the rules; all the teachers know about his situation. SLP is kind of day-care so his mom can work. I wish he would get motivated, because he is awesome. 

Sunny - she just doesn't get it. English, that is. It's painful sometimes.

Jinny - lived in Germany, really good at English. Kind of a brat. Very smart, but doesn't really like to try. It sucks because her half-assing it is still better than all the other kids' best efforts. Her attitude can be very frustrating sometimes. 

Elin - really hard working girl. She is especially good at writing contest and speaking contest. She works hard at home, and she's told me before she loves English. I think she will be fluent one day. She complains sometimes, but she also does all her work, so I don't mind too much. I really like this girl.

Elisha - my favorite in this class. She is hilarious! I had a hard time with her at first, because she would prefer to draw and color rather than pay attention most days, but in the past 6 months, she's improved a lot. She has the funniest ways to describe things, or tell stories. My favorite moments: "Teacher, I don't like selfish." "You mean, you don't like selfish people?" "No, I don't like selfish. You know, shrimp, lobster. Shellfish!" Her final letter to me made me cry.

Well, these are my amazing kids I have taught 2 days a week for the past year (well, mostly past year!) I love them so much! I WILL MISS YOU GUYS!!! *Distraught yelling at the computer!*

No comments:

Post a Comment

Subscribe via email

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner