A little late I know but what the hell. I think last year I managed to get into a real rhythm with the scribbling but this year its somewhat disjointed to say the least so if it isn’t updated here for a few days don’t worry be happy, it’s coming soon.
OK, the kids. Its funny but in some ways these kids are better than the ones I taught last year. That is individually. They seem to be better at vocabulary. They know the individual words are but they are worse I think at putting them together. Apparently the teachers they had last year at P1 never lasted that long or didn’t bother their arse so the end result is kids that are collectively not very good. It seems that it is my destiny to always get the tough year kids. Why godammit why?
I do seem to have a few good kids, a majority of easily swayed and a few hard core couldn’t care less troublemakers or downright disturbed kids. You know it’s bad when the head honcho and the teacher from last year come up to speak to when they find out he is in your class and warn you about his violent tendencies and his family background. So far, he hasn’t actually hit anyone yet although he has tried throwing his weight around a bit. The main problem with him so far is his total lack of involvement and interest in the class. He originally started off in the main body of the class but he then misbehaved and I moved him to a seat on his own at the front and he now actually refuses to sit anywhere else. Whether that’s because he knows he is not that well liked by the other kids or that he is now the centre of attention or front stage so to speak, I am not sure. What is sure is that he is becoming more and more of a distraction in the class – moving his chair or table, tilting the table over, dropping his metal pencil case, hiding under the chair, the table, slumping in his chair, crating new ways to position him self in the desk chair combination, singing, making noises and so on. There is no hope of him being moved out of the class or even god forbid out of the school because of one big reason MONEY. His parents pay – apparently they are weird as well. He has an older brother who is also just as many behavioural problems. So we the teachers are stuck with them both.
I have a couple of heavy days as I said earlier so I have decided they will be might light teaching days. I am not going to try anything heavy, serious or difficult. I tested that theory out today. It almost worked. Gave them a couple of worksheets and tested them on the vocab we have been using the last couple of weeks. It was going ok right up to the last two lessons. It was just lets wind up the teacher time by writing on the desk. Only bringing one pencil then deliberately breaking it, lets ignore the worksheet and have a sleep instead or chat to the person beside me, lets see how many ways I can sit in the chair, lets shout out random letters when I ask how do you spell scissors. Did you know there is an a,b,d,g,h,k,l,m,n,q,t,u,v,w,x,y and z in scissors? Well they think they do. I am sure they were just taking the Michael.
Once class was actually due to get a video as a reward for last weeks best score, so I said to them they would get a video if they got a 7/10 for that lesson. Next thing I know, one kid bolts out the door when my back is turned. No word of explanation, no asking for permission, nothing. He comes back in a few minutes later and again without explanation tries to come in and sit down. Where were you? I said “Yes” he said. Huh? Where were you? I said “Yes” he said. Where were you? I said “Yes” he said. Oh lordy. This is not a yes no question. Where were you? The home room? A shake of the head. The toilet? A shake of the head. He vaguely points downstairs which could mean anything as there are a load of offices, the canteen area, school shops, vending machines, water coolers etc etc. None of the other kids have a clue where he went either as he didn’t speak to them when a couple tried to translate the question into Thai for him. Where did he go? No fricking idea. And then the lesson went downhill from there. This and in fact all classes take a perverse delight in doing the opposite of what you want.
Take the desk layout for example. I have moved from 5 or 6 desks together to get group work to 4 desks together to now traditional rows of twos so control them better. This lot seem to be even worse than the old school for wanting to move the desks when they sit down rather than the chairs when they come in and the desk creep during the lesson. But anyway, I now have the “wing” desks angled into the whiteboard so they can see it better. But the number of times they move the desks so they are parallel with the rest of them after a few minutes is unreal. Even after being told again and again and again not to move the desks. And actually that’s just reminded me. Getting them to move the desks is unreal when I do want them moved. Move the desks I say and use my hands to gesture and indicate where they are to go. The expression on their faces is the same as when you show dogs a card trick. There is no comprehension and no connection to what they have just experienced and what is stored in their heads.
I have already created a crack in the plastic board wiper with banging it against a desktop to get their attention. Nothing like as sturdy as the wooden ones.