This is what I hear when these adorable little 4 and 5 year old Korean children talk to me with the most innocent looks on their faces. I point to my ears and say "I don't understand Korean, teacher doesn't speak Korean, what do you need?" Usually I get a response like "mul" (water, some will say it in english "watah") or something that sounds like choo choo followed by some crotch grabbing. I know at this point that it means bathroom, and I usher them into the hallway where a helper teacher takes them to the bathroom.
SCHOOL IS IN SESSION! My students came to school for the first day on Tuesday. We had a snow day on Monday, but it didn't affect me because the new classes were not starting until Tuesday. I had one last day to prepare. I was so nervous and excited! Mostly excited.
Tuesday came and went. After I taught my first class, the Apple class, (10 students, 5 years old American) a little piece of my heart was gone. We hadn't gotten through half of the material that we were supposed to for that day! Banana class was a breeze though. (6 students, mostly 4 year old American) We got through everything that day, this class is super smart, my two girls already speak English shockingly well! I will introduce a little about each.
Matthew-chubbier kid, likes to eat, always tries to pass out treats to everyone, cried the first day, but speaks the most English of all!
Morris-super tiny and quiet, but he understands when I ask his name, and loves to come to the board to write letters.
Kenny-ooooh Kenny. Doesn't understand any English, therefore he is my little troublemaker. Feet on the tables, constantly out of his chair, today during science he was tackling poor little Morris! I am working on him. He is my project for the year.
Brenda-The best listener in Apple class! Always raising her hand and shouting out letters and pictures.
Annie-one of the helper teachers daughters. She understands well, but is quiet. She was sad up until today because she was sitting by Carson (see below) but we moved her today so she is next to Brenda.
Carson-was at SLP for 6 months or so last year. His mom pulled him out because she apparently freaked out at the supervisors and was embarrassed. He speaks well, but does not listen when he is by the boys. I wish I could put him between two girls, but then the girls get upset.
Jane-A little slower. I usually have to push her several times to write her letters. She will do it with a little encouragement, but until I tell her, she just sits. I don't think she understands much.
Mikey-Cute little boy, talks with a bit of a lisp (My name ih Mi-ey). Was doing very well until he was sitting by Carson today! We need to do some rearranging.
Eddy-Cute too, listens well, doesn't understand much however. He was the first kid that came up to me and started speaking Korean, with the cutest little look on his face, asking something about his backpack which of course I didn't know what the heck he was saying!
Andrew-Understands, but doesn't like to listen to teacher!! He is smart though and is the first to finish writing his letters.
Yulia-Lived in the Phillipines for a few years, speaks English very well. "I, many many friends in the Pilipines!" Always finishes her letters quickly.
Philip-My banana class project. He, like Kenny, does not understand English at all. I have to sit by him and watch him write his letters one by one.
Charlie-The happiest boy in class! "My. name. is. Chal-lie!" Loves to sing the hello song and do the motions. Sings the loudest too! Understands and writes well.
Kevin-Very quiet, but listens and is always willing to write his letters.
Heather-a sister of one of the older girls. Today she was not feeling good. She speaks and understands very well. Told me the first day "I and my mom go skating in the snow". Can't wait to see where she will be a year from now!
After Tuesday classes went a little better. I have apple for 80 minutes, ten minute break (with a snack, dumplings, fruit, yogurt, rice cakes, something along those lines) then I have banana for another 80 minutes. Lunch is next, then they have half hour of free time, where they play blocks or watch movies. Then a special class for 50 minutes. Tuesday I taught a game to banana, same with apple yesterday, and then today we did a science "experiement". IIIII did a science experiment. I had to make the damn things myself of course, cause the kids had no clue. They were little wheel type things where you twist a stick around a rubberband, then put it on the floor and it spins around. It was fun to watch them play, not fun to make.
It has been super challenging. But these kids are so damn cute, and smart, that I can't be mad at them for too long. Kenny is my toughest. Today though, I found that when he is out of his seat, and I say One, Two very sternly and point to his chair, he gets the hint and sits down. I have been chanting "Look at me, Look at me" and clapping to get their attetion, which usually works, but today I did the peace sign above my head, most of them followed and were quiet. Little things like this that I can do!
As tough as it is (and mannnnn is it tough!) I can't wait each day to go into class. The school has a verrry heavy curriculum for the first few months, which are the months that they understand the least! We have a 75 page alphabet book to get through by the end of January. Usually we do 2 letters a day...four pages. This does not include the other phonics books we work in, or the stories that I read, or the time we spend going to the library and bathroom (library twice a week for now, then just once a week). However, the other teachers have done it, so I have complete confidence that I will too! Even if that means taking the kids away from play time to work individually on letter writing (little letter e is a tough one!). But they are catching on sooo fast, and I can't wait for the day the little lightbulbs go off in their heads!
TGIF. Tomorrow. Busy weekend ahead...tomorrow is Molly's birthday, Saturday I have plans to go into Seoul, and Sunday I will be going to church and then meeting up with a friend that was an exchange student with me in Brazil! cool huh?
Hope everyones 2010 has started off fantastically....Mine has!!