Monday, March 5, 2012

First day of school!

Friday was the first day of the new school year! I started with a fresh class of 5-year-olds who speak little-to-no English.  Most of the children know their ABCs, colors, shapes, and simple words like "yes," "no," and "bathroom."  They are absolutely adorable and entirely exhausting.  I am teaching in the Bear classroom and the Calf classroom (they are named in alphabetical order by animals).  I start in Bear Class, then switch with my Korean co-teacher (Iryne) at lunchtime to Calf Class.

When we switched after the first day, Iryne asked me how the morning went.  I told her I thought it went fairly well.  No one cried, and everyone paid attention almost the whole time.  They eagerly learned songs, met my elephant puppet, and practiced expressions like, "Can I go to the bathroom, please?"  One kid hit a girl in the face with a dinosaur during playtime, and a few kids practiced gymnastics on their chairs... but overall, I thought, "Hey, this isn't going to be too bad!" The picture I took of them was even half decent:

Bear class, day one

Then I got to Calf Class.

First, a boy thought my hand motions to the song "Ally Bally" were so hilarious that he ran to the back of the room, throwing himself onto the floor with laughter. 

Then one girl kept looking up at me with wide puppy eyes, nodding and speaking in Korean.  I'm so sorry sweetheart, Shelly Teacher doesn't know Korean...

When I tried to lead them to the bathroom, two kids sprinted to the playroom, and I didn't know their names yet to call them back. 

One little guy got up out of nowhere, ran down the hall to Giraffe class, made a funny face at his friend, then ran back.  When I tried to hold his shoulders and tell him, "No!" he wiggled out of my grasp and played dead.

This is as close to a "group picture" as I could get out of them:

Calf class, day one
See the girl in the pink dress, acting all sweet? Don't let her fool you.

She is very smart, probably too smart for her own good.  She refuses to take part in any activities or do anything nicely.  Like my little running man, she loves to sprint down the hallway and act like she can't hear me calling after her.  She likes a boy in class (the one whose finger is permanently up his nose) and insists on sitting next to him.  Well, more like on TOP of him.  When she sees her arch enemy sit on my lap, she tries to crawl on top of her head. 

She is always rocking on her chair, crawing on or under the table, or picking a fight with someone, like an actual physical fight.  I tried changing her seat, but she turns even the quietest, shyest kids into troublemakers.  She pretends she can't understand a thing Shelly Teacher says to her, but when she's called on, she somehow knows every answer...  She also turns a switch when you try to discipline her. Not only does she not understand, suddenly she wants to hug you and sit in your lap. 

Damn you, little girl, I will win.

I was EXHAUSTED after 6-hours of preschoolers.  It reminded me of my babysitting days.  Times 100.
Thank goodness I wasn't in charge of a bus line.  Every class (around 12 classes of 10 or so kids)goes to the "gym," which is really just a tiny studio, to try to find their bus number.  It's utter chaos. After trying to learn 20 Korean names and faces, why not add a dozen more?

On the other hand, I'm glad I have one level of students for the majority of the day, then a couple afternoon classes depending on the day.  Kyle has around seven classes during his school day (1:00pm - 9:00pm), and each class is a different level and grade.  So many books to decipher and so many lesson plans to prepare... He does get the better behaved, more advanced kids!  They're still rather entertaining.  One boy called him monkey face because of his five o'clock shadow.  A group of middle school girls points and giggles when they see him in the hall.  I've seen several kids calling out, "Kyle Teacher!" and waving furiously. 

In all honesty, I had a great day. The kids are really sweet and fun. Most of the time. It'll be great having kids run up and hug you in the halls, and I can't wait to see their progression over the school year. Nor can I wait to compare pictures from the first day of school to 6 months later! We'll see who makes it...

1 comment:

  1. I like the girl from Bear Class in the pink dress. She's got some mad posin' skills!