Monday, January 17, 2011

Brown-noser! (29 November)

I can honestly say that I love my students.  Yes, they frequently frustrate me and at times are very resistant to just about everything but, overall, they’re good kids and, most importantly, they make me laugh – a lot! 

The final assessment task for the first graders (grade 10s) is an individual speech of 90 – 120 seconds.  It may not sound long to many of you but, for many second language speakers, it’s like asking them to deliver the moon at midday.  The first class of the week is also my favourite so we’re off to a good start.  Most of the speeches are actually really good and well-written.  In addition, many of the students sound quite natural when speaking as opposed to the overly-rehearsed quality so many of them seem to strive for at times.  It’s impressive to hear some of them speak and I’m feeling quite optimistic by the end of the lesson. 

As Mr Jeong, NZ1 and I leave the classroom, I can’t help laughing at the students (most of whom are not even taught by me personally) who are shouting out random compliments to me as we fight our way to the door.  My co-teacher just laughs at these attempts of brown-nosing since he knows that this is, without a doubt, my favourite class.

The speeches in the next two classes are also fairly impressive and, finally, we can see the results of several weeks worth of preparation.  The highlight of the day, however, is the news that the co-teacher of a Kiwi friend is prepared to teach me Korean!  I’m beyond excited when I hear this news.  Unfortunately, I also have to face reality which is not as exciting: Between the extra editing I’ve agreed to do, the journal comments I have to do, and the attitude scores that I really need to start thinking about doing, I’m reminded that there are final written assessments for the second graders waiting to be marked.  Somehow, it was rather convenient to forget about this final set of marking when the envelope with the tests was still sitting on another teacher’s desk.  

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