Monday, September 7, 2009

Happy Birthday, Mom!! I told my students today that it is "Britney Teacher's Mommy's birthday!" They have been learning all about dates, the calendar, and the seasons for the past month, so I think they actually understand that. Unfortunately, they were a bit rowdy today...and got a bit distracted from the task I gave Alice and Katie demonstrate here.

Irene, however, was in an excellent mood as usual- she appears VERY excited to be saying happy birthday to Britney Teacher's mom!

Irene, by the way, is certainly a sly little kindergartener- she is the youngest in the class, barely 5 years old, but she knows exactly what to say to make you melt and give in to her. There's no better confidence booster than Irene stopping you in the middle of the class to say, "Britney Teacher...I love you." She also tells me every day, "Britney Teacher...beautiful." And let's be honest- that's exactly what I want to hear on a rainy Monday morning when I walk into school!

I feel so happy with where I'm at in terms of teaching and leading my kinders- I've been surprised with how natural it feels to lead them in class and other activities. I love interacting with them and discovering how much we're able to communicate. I'm also surprised by how I've managed to discipline and manage them- I feel confident that they know to listen to me and to obey my rules. And no matter how much I yell or take away their privileges... it's a pretty great unconditional love the end, they still love you...they'll still think you're the greatest, most exciting thing in their life!

On the other hand...I'm finding elementary teaching to be a much different story. I know it's still too early on to judge (barely a full week of elementary teaching yet), but I haven't felt very positive toward it. I think these elementary students are so much more difficult to control and engage, even at 8 and 9 years old. It doesn't help that I have the lowest-level English speakers in my classes...I'm pretty sure they have no idea what I'm even saying half the time. In my reading & grammar class, NO ONE will talk except for the group of boys who whisper in Korean to each other the whole time. Plus, it's such boring work- boring enough if you already know English, and much more so if it's your second language! (I definitely remember these feelings from elementary school Spanish). I really need to work on ways to engage this class- already, I feel like I've lost against them; I've failed to capture their interest and attention, so they're doomed to tune out for the rest of the semester.
This has also felt a lot more difficult with the elementary teaching because I missed a few classes while sick last week, and because our supervisors are observing all of our classes right now. I can't believe how nervous that makes me during class! I just feel pretty lost, and there's always so much to prep yourself on...but impossible to find the time, between grading tests, homework, and essay journals...reading the teacher's manual...and even just deciphering the homework schedule for each of your classes! There's so much to know and to remember...

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