Lost in the Supermarket

This title has no bearing on recent events. Just listening to The Clash.

Today was a really good day. During the first class today, I was going through the rundown of how to make a pizza for our monthly cooking class, and I said to be careful around the oven, because ovens are hot. Yeongkwang piped up with “Yes, hot, but Arf in, more hot.” After a little Pictionary on the board, I figured out he was trying to say Earth. And yes, the core of the Earth is hotter than an oven. So this sparked and impromptu lesson on our solar system because I was curious about what else they knew.

Cooking class was cool. Just making simple little pizzas on pieces of bread. Nothing too special, but the kids enjoyed it. I think Mia is a very picky eater. She gave me her pizza, because she said pizza makes her throw up. She also can’t eat ramen because of the same reason. After cooking class we colored dinosaurs and cut them out then folded them so they could stand. Pretty awesome pre-lunch day.

After lunch I had story time with Tomato class. I read them a story then we wrote our own and they wrote it down. After that, my last 25 minute class I just made some dinosaur trading cards with my class. I’m pretty sure my kids didn’t learn a single thing today. Not from me at least. Maybe they learned something in Math class with Shannon.

My elementary class continued basic phonics work. We read a short story and played Bingo with the words they had difficulty with. I had three kids cry. One just as class started. Then when I asked him who made him cry, when I kicked that kid out of class, he started crying. He’s generally a good kid, but he’s been getting a ‘tude lately. During Bingo, Chloe, my co-teacher’s daughter cried, because she couldn’t find a word and I wouldn’t help her. I felt bad because I couldn’t explain that if I saw her sheet, I wouldn’t be able to pick Bingo words. I ended up just getting another kid to help her find it.

My last class we just did some reading about a survey done with young Americans to find out what they’re looking for in a spouse. Great reading with two pre-teen girls.

Beth: Teacher, in America, are you handsome?
Me: Uh… I don’t know. Why?
Salad: Dorothy said she thinks you’re very, very, very, very, very, very handsome.
Me: Haha, that’s good to know.

After that was a quick bit of grammar and then we watched an episode of Adventure Time. If you don’t know, it’s one of the few cartoons worth watching recently. I think it’s just about the right level for the girls. It’s fairly simple, but some vocab words like “righteous” they don’t understand, but I’m pretty sure they follow everything well enough contextually to get something out of it. And it’s got lots of subtle jokes for older people, so it’s definitely worth a watch. I was sold right away when I heard Bender from Futurama was the voice of a character on the show.

The only kind of bad thing came right as I was leaving for work. I was stopped by the owner’s wife who was talking to me about one of my students. We’re having an open class for parents to watch soon. They’re worried about my lowest student. They talked to her mom on the phone and she cries every morning before school. She asks why she has to learn English. That’s the worst. There’s all this pressure on these kids to learn English, but the kids don’t even understand why. What can the parents even say? So you can get a good job? They’re 5 years old. They don’t even realize what jobs are yet. Most don’t have their “I want to be a… when I grow up” down yet.

She says she gets stressed because I take away checks for not doing homework. For one, I started this like… last week. Two, when I did use it for Show and Tell, the girl actually brought something and participated for the first time in weeks. They suggested I just leave her alone and don’t hold her to the same standard as everyone else, but I can’t see this improving anything at all. It’s going to make the other students ask a lot of questions and draw more attention to it. I’ve seen a bit of improvement in her phonics. She knows individual letter sounds, she just has a hard time blending them. And she’s afraid to be wrong, so she often just says “I don’t know” rather than try.

On a completely different note, I think I’ve recently noted some maturing in myself.  Guess I’m just getting older. Recently, things I’ve learned about myself and seen in others, which would’ve been much more upsetting to me before, I’m just better at getting over. I realized I could be making excuses and double standards, rather than actually accepting the reality of “life is not black and white and shit is complicated”, because I think if I observe something within myself or a friend, I’m naturally inclined to be a bit more forgiving than if it was a stranger because of the naturally positive light I already see them in, but then again, isn’t everyone the same way?

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