Kind of a rough one today. I don't know what the deal was, but the screaming/hitting seemed to be at an all time high today -- I mean teacher to student, not student to student. Saw more than one kid reduced to tears. I know they can be massive pains in the ass, but it seems like it's never the ones that could really use a good smack that catch it. It's just depressing. I'm a sucker for kids, is the truth. And it's only getting worse now that I'm starting to get to know them and they're starting to get to know me. Their little hands and faces. I just want to take them all out to a video arcade with free ice cream or something. Maybe I'm not enough of a hardass to be a teacher. I don't know. But I do know that Coteacher seriously rained on my parade today.
I've got to give the woman props. She reminds me of my old boss Hope, in that she occupies approximately four and half feet and 100 pounds of space, but she can strike fear into the hearts of any who dare to cross her by merely giving a look. Her classes are by far the best behaved and most attentive and respectful. I could learn more than a few things from Coteacher.
I'm doing numbers again this week with the first graders, because I noticed while doing the book lesson on "How much is it?" that their number skills were more than lacking. And it's one of the most important parts of functionally learning another language, as Mike and I have learned all to well in our short time here. But it's fucking boring. And, as far as I have managed to discern, there's no real way to give it any oomph. So I have, as I mentioned before, been ending the classes with Hangman to make up for it. Coteacher, however, was appalled once she got a glimpse of what I saw last week, and completely wigged out at the kids for being so poor with numbers. So instead of ending with Hangman, today, the boys finished class with a really loud lecture and an assignment to write all of the numbers 20 times each for homework. Bummer.
Like I said, it's not necessarily wrong. They do need to know the numbers and writing them over and over again might be as good a way as any to learn them. And I know school isn't supposed to be party time. But, as I also said, I'm a gigantic sucker for their big brown eyes. And am feeling particularly sentimental today, for some reason.
There's something going on on Thursday -- I'm not exactly certain what. Language barriers and whatnot. What I am sure of is that Mr. Wan and I are going to another school to do something for two hours -- I believe we will be observing other English classes and evaluating them. Why I've been chosen to do this, with all of my massive one and a half months of classroom teaching experience, is completely beyond me. The good news is, Mr. Wan is awesome/irresponsible and therefore has already informed me that we will secretly duck out after just an hour and go do something else with the rest of our day. I'm down with that.
Mr. Wan also told me I have to drink a lot when we go out this week. I told him I used to be the best drinker in my entire circle -- could drink anyone under the table -- but I think I'm going soft in my old age. He told me not to worry, that he doesn't misbehave when he drinks, but that when he was younger, he once punched through the glass in a telephone booth. I got to see the scars and everything. I said I don't do anything bad when I've been drinking, except talk a little more than I would normally prefer to, and get a little too passionate about politics, should they come up. There are a few other things I tend to do a little more freely when I drink, but I stayed off that subject. He said he is a good man, these days, and will look after me if I get too drunk. That's nice to know and all, but all the same, I think I'll try to keep it on the level.