So the new year has begun in earnest. Here we start in March, not August like in the states. So all my students from last year are in 2nd year now, and I only have 80 of them in my special English class. I have all new students for 1st year. Fresh faces staring back at me, some eager, some bored, some uncomprehending, some happy, some sad, some shy, some out going. I always get a little excited and nervous at the new semester. I hope they like me, I hope they learn something, I hope they have fun in my class, I hope they don’t have so much fun they forget to do their homework.
I’m especially excited about my 2nd year class. We are going to work on our writing. I wrote a workbook for them, and this is the first year it will be used “for real” – so far I’ve gotten two of the worksheets back (and almost everyone has done their homework a very happy burden) and I’m pretty impressed and happy with the work they are doing. Korean has a very different grammatical structure from English, and many of my students have a hard time with word order and word placement in sentences. Some of my students are really working hard and they have quite a bit of creativity. Yes slogging through sentences that have “interesting” grammar can be difficult, but, reading sentences that have a song in them… that is awesome. Right now we are working on nouns. This week I had them put two nouns into a sentence of 6 to 10 words. I still have to remind them that the adjective goes before the noun, and the adverb goes after the verb, but so far I’m very happy with the results.
My little first years are going to be awesome. I can feel it. Most of the classes are pretty active, so my biggest problem is keeping them on task and speaking English. They want candy because the middle school teachers often use candy to help control their class. I have a whole rant on why I hate hate hate hate hate the practice, but for now, I will just have to work on re-training them to do the right thing without a cavity inducing reward. One of my tricks is to use a call response when I want to change activities or just get their attention. Last year I used the song “We will rock you” by Queen. Since I already have the CD, I decided to keep a Queenly theme by using “Another one bites the dust” – 1/2 my students have the beat and can sing it pretty well. The other half will need a bit more practice. I think Queen is a very appropriate group for my students. I teach all girls and so “princess syndrome” can become a bit of a problem. I tell my students that’s OK, they can indeed be a princess. Just as long as they remember I am the Queen, and this is not a constitutional monarchy. I don’t think most of them know what constitutional monarchy means, but they get the idea that I hold absolute power within my classroom and that is the important thing.
And here is one of the best “I am proud to be a teacher rants I’ve heard in a long time. It makes me proud to be a teacher. I wish he would speak more
Oh and before I forget, let me introduce a friend’s blog. She’s doing a lot with jewelry and homemade soaps. I have some of the most creative people for friends. I feel blessed.