It started with one kid with the most fucking intense violet eyes I have ever seen. This kid is never wearing pants. Ever. He's always in his gym shorts. He decided to come in during the cleaning period one day and introduce himself. He's a third (ninth) grader.
"I am handsome boy?"
"Yes. Very handsome."
"Oh, thank you. You are very beautiful."
Then he left and came back shortly with a gaggle of his friends. He lined them all up in front of my classroom door.
"You know my name?"
"Sorry, I don't know your name."
Kid falls to his knees in mock agony as all the other boys scream.
The next day he came back to say hello, and I said, "Ah, my friend."
"Yeah, my friend."
He ran out the door and came back with the gaggle of friends again.
"Say it! You know. My friend!"
"Yes me! I am my friend!"
"Oh yeah. My friend."
Now there's a whole load of them -- about 20 -- who come to my classroom every day during the cleaning period and between the afternoon periods. Sometimes they ask for help with their English. Sometimes they just stand there looking lost. Sometimes they make little hearts with their hands. They play an ongoing game of soccer with a baseball outside in the hall, which I should probably try to stop, but I don't.
I guess I don't get to teach third graders because they are busy preparing for high school, and English conversation is still not a testable subject. But they're around anyway, more of them everyday.
Also, I was told today that I'm letting the boys be too loud. Not in the general pandemonium sense, but in the sense that I've found the best way to work on their pronunciation and keep them interested is to drill them like they're in the army. They aren't just screaming -- they're shouting the words after me in unison. And yes, they're loud. But they're entertained and they're practicing. And there's no one else on this entire floor during most of the day. So what? So they're getting into it.
Pfffffffft. Let 'em be loud.