I've already talked about my everyday class, so I'll skip them.
New Hi Kids 1:
This class is absolutely wild. Probably the most energetic class I've had. They are so young it's really hard to blame them for wanting to play and yell and run around; it's what they SHOULD be doing! But, thanks to their crazy moms, they are at an English academy studying... so, I get to deal with their hyperness. Yaaay.... -__-
Alex maybe has the most energy in the class, and at the beginning he held nothing back. In the past few months, he has gotten so much better. He actually listens and pays attention during class. Of course, as soon as I say "Pack up!" he is rattling off Korean and running around with his friends. But, I appreciate his efforts during the lesson.
Anne is a teacher's pet (well, all the girls are!). She speaks in single words (wait, all the students do). She loves to wave at me in the hallway and yell my name "AH! Chelsea Teacher!!!" She holds my hand walking down the hall. She has simple innocent adoration for me (who knows why). She isn't too bright, and sometimes she can be frustrating. But, she's adorable.
Max 1 (the original Max) is smart but he has lately been getting more and more wild. At first, he was the one who payed the most attention, but eventually he became the class clown (as you can see by his fish lips in the photo). He is pretty cute, but man he is wild.
Kelly is a lot like Anne. They are best friends, but they fight a lot. Neither of them are great students, but Kelly probably has more trouble than Anne. Kelly rarely speaks but she is a sweetheart! Nothing else remarkable...
Ashley is the biggest of the teachers pets! She is SO CUTE! She will be so gorgeous when she grows up (I just hope she doesn't feel the need to get plastic surgery like every other girl in this country!). She is the most enthusiastic about speaking and using new words she learns. She is generally a good student, but has her moments of distraction, too.
Jeff is a sly guy. He speaks waaay too much Korean, and even when he talks in English, he usually makes some side comment in Korean to the rest of the class. I can tell just by his voice that he is sarcastic, witty, and snarky. I can't help but like him. My favorite Jeff moment is when he has his umbrella at school and uses it to walk like an old man out of class (hunched over, using the umbrella as a cane). What a weirdo.
Natasha is a sweetie. When she first began in my class at SLP (a few months after the others), she was very attentive and a great student. Once she began to make friends, however, she began to be a little less studious. She liked to joke and play with her friends, but was often the brightest student in the class. Occasionally she was moody.
Max 2 was one student I never grew fond of. He never showed any desire to put forth effort (despite being very smart). He never paid attention, always talked with Jeff, and just generally frustrated the hell out of me. Thankfully I only had to deal with him for a couple months.
Reach Out 5:
This class was a big fusion. Originally there were some very different characters, but by the end, these 7 were it. I began with Amanda, Michael, Sherry, Belle, and Benny. Sherry left SLP, Benny took a break that ended up being several months long, and Belle got transferred to a lower level class after a few months break. Michael and Amanda have been with me since the beginning. I started off not liking this class much, but eventually fell in love with them. We developed a rapport and we could have fun but get things done as well. I loved them.
Sam transferred into my class from Sean's class. He is a HUGE goofball. He loves to trick me and tease me. I actually saw Sam outside of SLP once, and of course I had an incriminating beer in my hand. He never let me live it down that "teacher likes mekju (beer)". I absolutely love his personality, but sometimes during class he could be a bit frustrating. He often forgot his books and rarely did his homework. By the time I left, he had finally begun putting forth some effort. I hope he continues and succeeds in English!
Nalla was my most recent addition to the class. She was painfully quiet, but very bright. She had terrible spelling, but was very intelligent and often ahead of the class. I'm not sure who named her, but she actually told us when she began that her name was like Lion King! I was so impressed! It was a rare thing to get her to smile, even when the rest of the class was cracking up (usually at me being a dork).
Michael was probably one of the most dedicated and studious of my students. He always had his homework completed, and most of the time it was perfect. He scored highly most of the time. Despite how hard he worked, he also had fun with the class and loved to laugh with us. I think sometimes he felt guilty when he had fun in class. But, it was awesome to see him enjoying himself. I really liked Michael, even though he was too reserved to ever really let lose and talk to me outside of class.
Alicia was a quiet sweet girl. She was very frustrating because she often did not understand concepts, but rarely voiced her confusion. She scored low, but I wouldn't realize she was struggling until the test. By the end of our time together, I had started tailoring homework checks to help her and also checked her work before I let her leave class. I hope she continues to improve with the next teacher!
Ally was another newer addition to the class. She was extremely intelligent. She was a huge reader and often when I came into class she had a book out reading (albeit in Korean). We bonded over Harry Potter and I think she really liked me. She scored well and often had her work finished well before her classmates. By the time I left, she had begun to relax almost to a negative point, where she did not put forth as much effort and chatted to Amanda a little too much. But, she is smart as a whip and I do love her!
Jackie came into the class at the same time as Nalla, but she came from another class. She had taken the class before, but still struggled a lot with comprehension. She was a sweet girl and I think she liked me but it was sometimes difficult to help her improve while she was usually partnered with Amanda or Ally who were much further along than she was.
Amanda was like my little princess. She was pretty attached to me by the end of our time together, and I did enjoy teaching her. She liked to tell me stories and talk to me before and after class, but she hadn't developed her speaking well enough that it always made total sense. But, I appreciated her efforts and always tried to encourage her speaking. She was enthusiastic and a great student. For some reason her classmates called her Carrot (something to do with being tall), but no matter what, Amanda was always patient and diligent with her studies. I loved having her in class.
New High Kids 5:
Anne is a sweet quiet girl. She had a best friend in the class, Celina, who moved halfway through the year. At first, Anne became even more quiet and reserved, but eventually she came out of her shell a little more. Anne was very bright but never quiet spoke up enough. She smiled a lot though, and liked to laugh at me. A great student.
Olivia was a newer student. She is really beautiful (all the Korean teachers commented on it as well). She has the longest hair ever, and frequently wears interesting hair accessories (like her cat ears featured in this photo). She is a mediocre student, absent a lot, and is worked hard by her mom. She is very sweet though. I never have trouble with her. I wish she had been around more often!
Angelina started the class in February. She came in at the same time as new kindergarten teachers started, because her mom was one of those new teachers. Angelina is a very sweet girl but not too bright. One of her shining moments was when, on a test, she spelled hospital "hoshpitter" (because that is exactly how she pronounced it with her Korean accent). She always says hi to me, and even brought me a present once or twice.
David used to be in my New High Kids 3 class on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but he was progressing well and his parents decided to put him in a more advanced class. I approved the switch, since he was a very hard worker, but cautioned that he would have to speak up more and work very hard to overcome the skipped material. In this class, he struggled a lot more, primarily because of having significantly more students in the class and actually having other smart students with him. But, he is a great student and I know he warmed up to me by the end. (Look at that sweet smile!!)
Leo ("Iron Man") was the biggest struggle for me at the beginning of my time at SLP. He took a break and when he came back, his behavior had improved a lot. However, he remained a very hyperactive student with a short attention span. Leo needs a lot of attention and has a smart aleck mouth. He often speaks in Korean to make the other students laugh, but can definitely frustrate me in English just as much. It took a lot of work, but I eventually developed a tenuous understanding with him, and he showed a lot of improvement the last few months with him. (Memories include taking his toys and pencil case and erasers that he played with; him sneaking up to my desk to steal my pens or his toys back; him always changing words when we repeated phrases to make students laugh; repeating my instructions with an attitude and hands on hips; moving his desk when I moved him away from another student; packing up 7 minutes before the bell and begging to be first at the door which in turn made me implement a policy of waiting until I called names to line up; etc.... hate to love this kid!)
Jamal is one of the most absent minded students I teach. He might appear to be paying attention, but I can guarantee nothing registers in his mind. He constantly fails exams, and needs extra homework so as not to be put in a lower level class. He likes to be buddies with Leo, but also was scared of me (a healthy fear, not because I was ever harsh on him). I absolutely hate giving him speaking tests because it took ten years to get an answer out of him.
Julie was another of my favorites. She took an immediate liking to me, and I to her. Despite my love for her, she can be a frustrating student. At the beginning of class, when students are to read and repeat after me, Julie never pays attention and always gets marks on the board. However, she is very smart and scores well on exams. We shared a birthday and she loves to talk to me outside of class, even though it takes her a long time to get out what she is trying to say.
Amy is a wild child. She started the class a few months after I took it over, and initially she was a great student, but eventually she got comfortable and began testing what she could get away with. I actually really liked her, as she is obviously quick, but could be frustrating to try to teach. When I would get onto her, Amy would get moody and not like me. The next day, however, we were always friends again.
Last but not least, Sophia. She was another late-comer. What stood out to me about Sophia was that when I would have students give me personal answers to questions, she often told me about how much her mom made her study. She went to bed past midnight most nights, and woke up at 5am to study before breakfast. I felt bad for how hard she worked, but she did score well so I guess it paid off in some way.
Middle High School:
This entire class/curriculum began about a month before I took over the class. Erin began teaching these kids a "listening" class to prepare them for an exam they take in Middle School that is apparently very difficult. When Erin told me about the class, I thought it would be a cinch. And in theory, it could have been. However, the students frequently did poorly and I ended up really putting a lot of effort into making it accessible to them and explaining colloquialisms and slang phrases. While I really tried to help them academically, the students themselves were probably my least favorite. They were crazy boring. The girls were alright, but the boys rarely spoke, even when asked a direct question. Sometimes I wanted to shoot myself rather than do this class. Thankfully, they had several days off due to studying for school. Yay!
Stacy is the most talkative, but that is relative. She actually answers questions and laughs at my jokes, but still keeps quiet most times. She is also fairly intelligent. She has an older sister who is in college, and I guess she is a bit occupied by looking good (combing her bangs frequently).
Jack is a gamer and every time I asked him "What did you do this weekend?" his answer was always the same: played video games. He took some time off for other academic pursuits, but even so he is very smart and remained at the top of the class.
Alex is nearly as quick as Jack, but just as reclusive and boring. I hate to say it, but its true. He was sometimes funny because of his reactions to my prodding him to talk. He occassionally fell asleep in class, to which I would wake him up in various ways: throwing a marker at him, getting Jack to push him, etc.
Sarah was a sweet girl but she just never GOT IT. She tried (I think), but could never catch on like the others. She laughed at herself a lot, mostly because I was always in dismay at how she NEVER had her homework! I don't know how this girl is going to get through Middle School English...
Leap High 3:
It has been a year and a half that this blog has been sitting in Draft mode; I still can't get up the courage to write about this last class. One day, I will. For now, I'll publish it. (Feb 2015)