God, am I ever on top of the world.
I finally fucking cracked it. I found, after all this time, the perfect formula for handling the Nightmare Class. Today's class was fucking gorgeous. You wouldn't have believed it. I still don't. We had enough order for me to walk around and crack a few jokes with the students, and finished in enough time to leave five minutes early -- not because I had given up, but because we had accomplished all there was to accomplish.
My bashful third graders have gained enough confidence in speaking English that they now volunteer to read entire dialogues in front of the class. And they do it beautifully, looking up occasionally from their papers to check my face, which is always beaming with pride, like some sort of fucking soccer mom. We're down to almost zero translation in the third grade classes now. Me and my co-teachers have melded minds to the point that we can repeat back and forth in English, in different ways, so that the students, who have become eager to understand, are able to without any Korean.
I've worked my ass off in the last two days to change a lot about the structure of my lessons, and I'm already seeing the results nearly ten fold.
Now. If I can just manage to get this Korean junk down before I leave to meet C in an hour. The boys have found out I have a Korean teacher now, and are jealous. Teacher no need Korean teacher. We teach Teacher Korean. I had my first student-taught lesson today. They taught me how to say, "my name is" (which I already know) and "you name is", which is not actually correct English and also not really that useful. Actually, they didn't even get to translating that part into Korean because we got sidetracked when I wrote my name in Korean for them and they freaked out.
Today I ran over the Korean I'm supposed to know for tonight with Coteacher in the office before leaving work. The other teachers looked on with a kind of endeared gentleness. It must be strange for them to hear me speaking Korean, the way it's strange when my students, who I know mostly only in broken fragments, stand in front of the room and read dialogues with perfect grammar and fairly good pronunciation. They're rooting for me.
Oh. But I am tired.