Well, well, well. Good news indeed. It seems that because of the forthcoming AIDS conference ( which apparently $1000 a ticket ) that the schools will be shit for a week from July 12. Yabba Dabba Doo!
An extra weeks hols! :) This comes in the middle of our mid terms which means we have a few days less to do them which isn't really a big deal since they will take up only 2 lessons anyway. I might try and get away down to an island somewhere but definitely out of Bangkok.
We had a staff meeting today and one of the things they discussed was the mid term progress card. The version they showed was OK up to a point. We could tick a box to say the student was excellent, above average, average or ... wait a minute, where are the other choices? They were trying to slip in a report card where basically everyone was average or above and we couldn't even get near the truth for some kids. Pathetic, because this didn't even come from tea school, it came from tea agency. When questioned, it was all " oh, we have to be careful, we have to be positive" and all that shot. After just about everyone commented, it was "oh yes, we will change it but don't put too many in there" pathetic. Even more so because the actual report cards go from Needs to improve to below average to average to above average to excellent. What would a parent think if suddenly the kid goes from Average to Needs to Improve in 2 months? Again someone in management not thinking about consequences.
Once again, the difference in the kids lining up outside the classrooms has been remarkable today. Well behaved! Inside again, it depends on the class. Today was a 5 period day and because there were so many people off I had the chance to teach 7 periods. Err, nope! No way hosay! ( how do you spell that anyway? ) In one of my 3s I had the kids I have been teaching for 3 years. 2 minutes into the class and I catch out the corner of my eye him throwing something at another kid. Here we go again. :( OK, on your knees at the front. He knows one of my cardinal rules is not to throw things in class because ( and at this point I turn into my mother, horrible thought isn't it) that could take someone's eye out or hurt someone.
So, continue teaching and he is creeping along the floor gradually moving further and further away from his starting point and I am continually telling him to move back. At one point I hear a metallic clink and see him picking up one of these little metal disks that are all the rage at the moment - they bounce them off the ground and presumably the result is down to how it lands and which face is up. So, I pick it up and tell him if I see anymore I will take them off him and he wont get them back. He knows I will do this and its not an idle threat as its happened many times in the past.
Of course, a few minutes later, I see them in his hands and hear the clink so go over and ask for them, he refuses, I ask for them again and he refuses again. I get him to stand and up reach for his shirt pocket where he put them and he physically stops me from getting them. Not wanting to get into a fight with him, I change tactics and stop the rest of the class. I tell them what has happened and tell them until he hands them over they will all stand and the air con will be switched off. Switching the air con off is a tactic that some classes react to like its the threat of a WMD and others are "so what?" This was a WMD and they did not like it and I could hear murmurs directed at the little ray of sunshine. They stood up and I switched off the air con and waited with my hand out infront of the little darling. Within a minute I had two, then a pause then another two then another two than another longer pause then two more and then an even longer pause before I finally got them. As I keep my promises, the rest of the class sat down and I switched on the air con again. At the end of the class I had the behaviour book and told them they were getting 8/10 but would have got 9/10 if it hadn't of been for him. Again a few murmurs and dark looks were directed at him. Good, finally he might get some pressure from the others to behave and let them learn in peace. At the end of the class I didn't give him back the metal discs and he actually started to cry. Good. Now, I know this sounds like I am a total bastard but as I said yesterday I think, I have tried just about everything I know to get him to behave so finally maybe he is getting the message that he has to start listening.
if a class is good through the lesson, I don't mind a bit of mucking about at the end. In one of my earlier 3s, I caught one of my smart boys playing muay thai against another kid, I pulled him aside and said he shouldn't do that because if he kicked the other student I would kick him and "landed" a kick on his side. Then another, then the class started the "OI!" sounds you hear when a kick or a punch is landed. A couple of "punches" and "kicks" later, I told him not to do it in class. Of course both of us and the class were laughing but a point had been made.
Character assassination of the day will need to wait and I can hear the pub calling my name "Unassuming!" "Unassuming!" "Unassuming!" "Unassuming! Where are you?"