Monday, May 17, 2010

New Schedule, New Life

Ian's schedule is very different from mine.  Sinback and Haso are relatively consistent, 5-6 in a row and then home by 8:40 at the latest.  But, at Goam, my classes are based on the Korean English teacher's schedules; so they vary.  Monday's classes start at two and I have four forty minute classes, then a break for an hour and a half (which is happening now, while I'm writing this), a forty minute class, then another fifty minute break and my last class ends at 8:40.  I'm not sure if I'll have to stick around for a meeting, but even if I don't, it's likely that I won't get home until after 9pm.  Everyday is different, but they all end late.

So, I will be trying to write during the day or write pieces of each post as I have time each day.

I am so tired.  I still have two classes left and plenty of time to sit and get sleepier and sleepier.  Ian's students are difficult.  His beginner students do not have the foundation that mine do (most likely through no fault of his).  This is probably because they do not use books and so their lessons are not as linear.  They had a lot of difficulty with simple possessive pronouns.  It took me nearly half the class to get them comfortable with asking "What's your/her/his name?/ What's your favorite animal?" and answering with the corresponding "My/her/his name is ___."  "My favorite animal is a ____."  Writing was another beast all together.  My Haso and Sinback students easily follow directions and write the sentences we've discussed.  Granted, they write very slowly, but they can still do it.  These guys needed to be coaxed through every word.  They took no initiative asking each other questions and very few students made it through worksheets that my other kids finished in a few minutes.  

But, I've decided that I'm not going to scale back my lessons just yet.  Maybe when they are more accustomed to me they will show more progress.  But, so far, it doesn't look like the Goam system is accomplishing what it set out to; in fact, it doesn't look like it's accomplishing much at all.

My first class was very young.  Toward the end of class Sue (who sat in a couple of my earlier classes) suddenly moved the littlest girl, Eva, over a seat and I noticed there was a puddle.  Sue quickly cleaned up the mess and I pretended nothing happened.  I'm not sure if she wet through her clothes or if she spilled something.  Someone did have a small juice cup in that class, but I don't think it had enough juice in it to make a puddle.  It was an interesting start to things, that's for sure.

I also had Ian's learning disabled kid in class today.  His name is Logan.  I really want him to get something out of the lesson, but it's very difficult.  I just tried to kindly lead him through things today.  I don't have much experience working with Special Needs children.  It's really a shame that he isn't being given all the tools he needs to succeed.

Generally, these students are a lot ruder.  They say a lot more cruel things to each other and once the shock wears off, I'm sure they'll test them out on me as well.  The "Basic" level classes were hard to control.  It wasn't that they did anything specifically bad, but they didn't listen and I had to be on top of them constantly.  These kids have your garden variety attitude problems, but when there in a group it can be tough to handle.

The Fluent students were not as "fluent" as one would hope.  But, with the exception of one kid that I had to put in a make believe "silence box" they listened and cooperated.

I talked a lot with Sue today and Julia occasionally made an appearance.  She is happy.  From what she said to me, it seems that she wants Ian to be the shiny, happy, fun candy coating that attracts students in and from me she expects a more robotic, boring but educational approach that will send the students home having learned something.  We are two halves of a whole to her.  Sue told me that there are some new students signed up for next month, so that partially accounts for her good mood.  As long as she's not threatening to fire us, I'm happy.  For right now, it seems we're safe.

Today was exhausting, but feasible.  My new mission is to tame Ian's students.  I'll keep you posted on my progress.

Good night!

1 comment:

  1. you survived your first day of the new plan. Good job, I wonder what Julia looks like when she is happy? I don't want to jinks anything, but maybe she will be happy from here on out. Oh well, I can wish. I know you will settle in to your new schedule and do well, you will whip those kids into shape, and maybe some will even smile. Don't take any crap from them!