Monday, November 3, 2008

Halloween at SLP

Thursday and Friday were Halloween days at work. Every teacher was assigned a room to decorate and to run an activity. Wednesday we all stayed late to decorate. My room was the ghost room. Probably one of the easier rooms to decorate... skeletons take a bit more effort that ghosts. The activity that we ran in our room was digging for worms. I made dirt out of chocolate cookies and water. Then threw gummy worms in the bowl. Then they got chopsticks to dig them out in a race against another kid. Whoever found the most worms won. It was messy, but it was easy to run and quite popular. I never really got a break the whole day. It was exhausting. It was really fun to see all my students dressed up. All the preschoolers were dressed up. Only some of my older students dressed up. In this picture at the top are two of my students. One from my Hi Kids 2.3 class, and one from my 1 Jump High class that I actually don't teach any more. My day is so much nicer without those kids, but I must say, this boy, who's name is Do Won was one of my favorites. He was so funny and smart. He would often misbehave, but I think that was mostly because he was really too smart for the class, but he was already in the highest level. Sometimes he would draw pictures of a dead teacher... but that was usually the way he showed his affection. Once he wrote a story. I told them, write a story about 5 baby ducks. Here is Do Won's story. I may get one or two words off, but this is almost verbatim:
There were 5 baby ducks. Then a giant octopus monster ate them. They swam in its belly. Then the octopus hiccuped and the ducks came out. (and yes, he really did know the word hiccup... sort of amazing now that I think about it. He is a first grader.)
This is me with my Fly High sophomore class. They are middle school students. 15 years old Korean age, which is 13 or 14 American age. As you can see, while they are not so tall... I am quite short. I'm only shorter then them here because I'm leaning over. But, I did check with one of the other girls in that class. She is taller than me. How encouraging. Then again, I did stop growing when I was 12.... so I guess it makes sense. These are my oldest students. Most of my kids are much younger, elementary age. I have one preschool class and one other class of 6th graders.
This is Kenny, he is one of my 4 Jump High students. He was one of the few students I could convince to eat a worm. His class is very smart, because they all started in intensive preschool and then have continued at SLP going at least 3 days a week, though when they were younger they were probably going 5 days a week. But, while they are very smart, they like to fool around a lot. They are a class of five 4th grade boys. They love making up stories about each other. The boys tell me that Kenny has two girlfriends, but he only loves one of them. Billy, another boy in the class (probably the smartest) supposedly has a girlfriend named Su Ji. They love to swear in English, and are smart enough to actually spell out swears instead of just saying them. Thier favorite is F-U-C-K-E-R. They have no idea what it means, but they know how to use it and love calling each other by that name. I had the hardest time controlling this class, and I'm just now finally figuring out some tricks. I tried negative reinforcement, but it didn't work very well. Now I'm experimenting with possitive reinforcement, and it's working much better. They would always only speak Korean in class, even though they are quite capable of speaking English quite well. Now they have some insentive to speak English. They need to earn stickers for me. Once they earn thier stickers and fill a page of thier stickerbook, I buy them something from the supermarket downstairs. Thier favorite thing to eat is sundaegochi (not sure if I'm spelling it right). It looks disgusting to me. What it is, is intestines filled with glass noodles. But hey, it's only 500 won, so I don't care. It's worth it if I can get them to behave in class. So far it seems to be working quite well. I never thought I'd spend money on my kids. Especially not to make them do thier work. But at this point I'm grateful for anything that makes them behave. Now that they are a little better in class, I enjoy them much more.
This is Min Ji. She looked so cute I had to take a picture. She is a student in my 2 Jump High class, so she is another girl who came out of intensive preschool. They have class 5 days a week. I only teach her class 3 days a week. This girl is very sweet, and always tries very hard. She worries a lot about quizes and tests and gets very freaked out. One of the first days I taught her, she was crying because she had forgotten about the test, freaked out and refused to do it because she was so upset and convinced that she couldn't to the work. But, actually, she usually gets some of the best grades, because she is one of the few students I have that study.

I never thought I would be so involved with my students. I feel with just about all of them I could write paragraphs and paragraphs. Sure there are a few that just blend in with the walls, but they are all such individuals... they have thier strenghts and weaknesses and quirks. Now that I've been teaching almost all my classes now for three months, I feel like I really know my students. I'm becoming rather emotionally attached to them. I don't know what it will feel like after a year and I have to leave them...

1 comment:

  1. Hey Josie

    Halloween looks like fun :) And yes isn't it sad that sometimes you have to bribe kids to get them to do what you want haha. I've gotten outsmarted by a 3 year old while teaching swimming before. Anyway whatever you do don't eat the intestines. A girl in my class is from South Korea and she told me to tell you if you like it there and end up staying then look into teaching Test Prep classes (like for SAT type things) because its a little easier and they make good money apparently. Buttt I think you should come home when you're done.

    Miss ya!