Thursday, November 22, 2007

teacher forever (false), angel students (true)

i am thankful for all the amazing ppl i have met in korea. who help me, take care of me, make me smile, make me laugh, and remind me of the beauty of life. (separate thankful entry)

if all my classes were like my 1-4, i would be a teacher all day everyday, no problem. those angels just make my life here wonderful. they are among my highlights of the week. they answer my questions in unison, when we do "listen and repeat" they are so loud and enthusiastic they knock my socks off. they monitor each other's discipline so i never have to. they chastise each other for not trying their best. apparently many of the kids in that class are firstborns. hmm, interesting. they are usually the only class who finishes every single part of the planned lesson without running out of time or skipping any activities. they are so great.

and remember my little angel? the one in the beginning of the semester who told me "just couldn't do english"? well, he's a very 식식한 boy now. i picked his name on a popsicle stick during "last week's review" time and i was worried, but DEF had no need to be. he stood up and said "MONKEY" super clearly and loudly and sat down! and i had been worried bc last week he FINALLY raised his hand and so of course i called on him, but he got it wrong so i thought he'd be all sad and discouraged this week but he WASNT!!! both me AND his homeroom teacher were pleasantly surprised with his performance. he's been raising his hand a lot more, and apparently he's picked up his spirits in general lately. 1-4 coteach and i are very pleased about this.

i LOVE my 1st grade teachers. like REALLY REALLY love them. i sometimes feel guilty that i like them more than my 2nd grade teachers, but they are so much more thoughtful and caring about me and my classes. mostly bc the 1-1 teacher is a great example so the others follow, but they are a great group. they're a lot of fun, they really look to help me, and care a lot about the students, too. that much is evident.

today at 1st grade workshop, the teachers had ordered chicken for the meeting. it was soooo delish!!! i knew i was having thanksgiving later but i'm pretty sure i ate half a chicken. i think my body jus craves protein/meat and when it's near my protein radar goes up and i just inhale it all to stock up for the next drought of protein.

anyway, today was last day of 4th grade english camp. this was prob one of my fav groups so far. they were so funny and outgoing. i got a twin. he walked in the first day and i said "didn't you already come last week?" in a kindof annoyed voice bc he was a handful ... but he said it was his twin brother. this one was GREAT. he was so helpful and kind to his english-retarded partner and always a sweetheart. i keep getting siblings of kids who were in my earliest advanced classes ... i like to think it's a personal compliment that the other sibling couldn't stop saying good things about me so their mom signed up their bro/sis for my camps!!! haha ... probs the family is jus ubermotivated in general and has nothing to do with me ... but i like to think of it my way. ^^

i had one kid who "translated" (if you can call it that) as he pleased. i would say "read with your partner" and he would announce in korean "hand in your nametag" or i would say "now we will play a game" and he would say "open the book to page 20". like REALLY random stuff. and he DEF thought he knew what he was doing. it was sooo funny. his nickname/label was "마음데로 회석 boy".

today i sat in on 1-1 korean language class. they had to learn compliments and complimenting and when to do it and how to do it properly. it was a good lesson. also, 1-1 is one of my fav teachers and (in my opinion) one of the best teachers so it was good to see her in action (not in english class-where she's good, but clearly not in her element). she had some good strategies for classroom management and flow and stuff. one of the most adorable boys is in her class. he ALWAYS answers my questions by standing up and pushing in his chair (which actually a lot of the students do) and saying "저는 _______이라고 생각합니다" in this cadence that apparently is normal in korean classrooms. so they did a compliment chain where A compliments B who then compliments C and so on and so forth. he was the first person to be complimented and he chose one of the WORST behaved students in the class (who i KNOW is not his friend). he complimented him by saying he has great english skills (true) and he is very good at drawing (also true) and i was surprised at the largesse of his heart to pick someone who the teacher is always calling out as misbehaved and who he wasn't friends with.

i hearts my students. they are usually pretty freaking amazing. they surprise me with how much they know. they surprise me with how kind they are. they are so patient sometimes.

i'm a rambler. but last story i promise. there is this boy w/some kindof mental/learning/behavioral/cognitive disorder in my 2-2 class. he gets frustrated super easily and loses control and can't calm down for the rest of class. he has trouble concentrating or participating. his desk partner (purposely by homeroom teacher)is the SWEETEST most patient brighteyed girl in korea. she always helps him out and explains things to him. when we play card games she helps him word by word and praises him to no end when he follows her leading and always gives him advantages at her own loss. she whispers him the correct answer when i pull his popsicle stick. she is the only one who can calm him down ever. she is so helpful and so wonderful and kind it amazes me. i REALLY HIGHLY doubt that i could have that kind of patience with ANYONE EVER. and to see her at work with him, it really brings tears to my eyes every time bc it's so beautiful. i worry about what'll happen if they get separated next schoolyear or what'll happen when they're a little older and she tires of it (like in korean dramas!) and realizes he's only slowing her down. i'll jus focus on the good/positive right now. and allow myself to be inspired by my students every week.

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